The European Union, Re:wild and WWF Vietnam mobilize urgent solutions to find and save the saola, the world’s rarest mammal, from the brink of extinction.

Nguyen Van Tri Tin, WWF Vietnam Wildlife Conservation Program Manager, said, with funding from the European Union through Re:wild and USAID’s Conservation of Biodiversity project, WWF -Vietnam will make every effort to find the last saola. The project will utilize local ecological knowledge combined with modern technology such as environmental gene analysis (eDNA) and specialized imaging traps.

“We hope that search efforts and conservation breeding programs can help restore the saola population in the Central Annamites, which will help preserve and preserve an important part of the natural heritage.” of Vietnam,” said Mr. Tin.

Individual sao la. Image:Re:wild

Saola is at the heart of the conservation efforts of the Rapid RESCUE Fund for Ecosystems, Species and Communities in Emergency. The Foundation was established in 2020 by the European Union (EU), actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Re:wild with the goal of taking urgent action to address the threats to biodiversity that are occurring. and more.

For the past two years, efforts to find saola have been halted due to the Covid-19 epidemic, so the search and conservation of the species is an urgent task. “We have a great opportunity to find and save Vietnam’s last saola,” said Andrew Tilker, Re:wild’s Asian species officer.

Mr. Tilker said that the search for saola will also look for a number of other endemic and endangered species of the Central Truong Son range. The project will work with local authorities to implement conservation breeding programs for some endangered species, with the aim of one day being able to release them back into the wild when it is safe enough.

Saola belongs to the bovine family, it is estimated that there are only a few individuals left. They were first discovered by scientists in 1992, and are so rare that no biologists have ever seen them in the wild. It is this rarity that makes saola nicknamed the “unicorn” of Asia. Since the discovery of saola, biologists have only photographed the animal five times with a camera trap in the wild – twice in Laos and three times in Vietnam. The most recent photo of saola was taken in 2013 in central Vietnam by a WWF camera.

Saola is a victim of poaching with illegal wire traps. Although these traps do not target saola, they kill virtually all terrestrial mammals including saola. Giorgio Aliberti, Ambassador of the European Union to Vietnam, said protecting the ecosystem is key to helping wild species thrive and thrive.

At the Southeast Asian Games taking place in Vietnam from May 12 to May 23, saola was chosen as the official mascot of the event.

Source: VN express

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