EAST supports the rescue, rehabilitation and conservation of Asian wildlife species both in situ and ex-situ. In Asia the first project is the Dao Tien Endangered Primate Species Centre, founded in 2008 in Cat Tien National Park, South Vietnam. The centre's staff work with the Forestry Protection Department of Vietnam to cease the illegal trade in endangered primates.
Officially opened in 2008, Dao Tien was the inspiration of Jim Cronin, the founder of Monkey World - Ape Rescue Centre, UK. The centre is a collaboration between Cat Tien National Park, the Vietnamese Forestry Protection Department, Monkey World - Ape Rescue Centre, UK, and Pingtung Rescue Centre, Taiwan.
The centre is located on a 57-hectare island at the entrance of Cat Tien National Park, South Vietnam.
At Dao Tien, we specialise in the rescue, rehabilitation and release of endangered primates naturally found in the surrounding region, and our resident primates have all been victims of the illegal wildlife trade. Check out 'Our Primates' to learn more about our residents.
We cater for golden-cheeked gibbons (Nomascus gabriellae), black-shanked douc (Pygathrix nigripes), silvered langur (Trachypithecus margarita) and pygmy loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus).
The island of Dao Tien
In July 2008, the first construction phase was completed. Thiis included the construction of the centre, complete with veterinary room and primate enclocures to home newly confiscated individuals.
In March 2010, the final construction phase was completed. A fenced 20 hectare semi-free area was established on the southern tip of the island to provide a suitable forested location for the final rehabilitation phase. Click here to see a map of Dao Tien.
|Enclosure||Construction of the 740m fence line, creating a 20ha
semi-forested area for final rehabilitation
Why are rehabilitation centres so important?
The hunting of endangered primates has been illegal in Vietnam since 1992, but it is still considered to be by far the most immediate threat to wild populations. Primates are hunted for food, traditional medicine and the pet trade.
Commercial hunting in Vietnam has increased due to growing international trade, which has facilitated the sale of primate bones, for example, to China for rheumatism treatments. Intense hunting pressure is not sustainable with slowly reproducing primates.
In 1994 Vietnam joined the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Effective policy implementation is the key to achieving the overall goal of ceasing wildlife trade. For the Forestry Protection Department to be able to implement legislation they need the support of rescue and rehabilitation centres to deal with confiscated wildlife. If suitable centres are not available, injured or diseased animals may be returned to the forest to die, or even sold back to the illegal trader.
The animals confiscated are often endangered, with rapidly decreasing wild populations due to the illegal hunting. Successfully reintroducing healthy individuals back into the wild will support dwindling wild populations. Through this we are providing an important educational awareness tool to highlight the problem, which otherwise would continue unnoticed.
It is our goal to stop this trade before these endangered species are in terminal decline in the wild. The best way to do that is to assist the Forestry Protection Department in Vietnam in confiscation of illegally kept endangered primates.
Young male black-shanked douc successfully returned to the wild in 2009
For more information on how to find Dao Tien and our tour packages, click here.