Vietnam’s lush green nature is home to many exotic species in the world. Unfortunately, some of them are on the brink of extinction due to illegal hunting and polluted environment. Have look at some of the endangered species in Vietnam and how you can take action.
Saola – ~50 individuals left
Saola has long horns that point to the back
Also known as “The Asian Unicorn”, Saola is an animal from ancient times and apparently the rarest large mammal in the world. Vietnam is home to around 50 Saolas, which makes the animal the most critically endangered species in Vietnam.
Taking care of Saola in the Nature Reserves
Nowadays, there are Saola Nature Reserves in Quang Nam and Hue established to protect the creature and its habitat.
Black Gibbon – ~60 individuals left
Black Gibbon is among the most endangered primates in the world due to unlawfully poaching and habitat destruction. There are only approximately 60 left in Vietnam.
A male black gibbon is covered in black fur…
…while the female ones have a yellow color
The animal can only be found in dense tropical primary jungles. In Vietnam, they are under legal protection inside Hoang Lien Son National Park in Lao Cai Province and in other tropical jungles in Lao Cai, Yen Bai, and Son La.
More on Vietnam’s National Parks here.
Sarus Crane – ~11 individuals left
Vietnam was once the paradise of the famous Sarus Crane. Sadly, the cranes soon became an endangered species in Vietnam because of habitat loss and degradation in food resources.
Sarus Crane is the tallest flying bird
You can observe Sarus Crane migration and mating in Tram Chim National Park (Dong Thap) and Yok Don National Park (Dak Lak). The terrain of which is mostly shallow waters and wetlands, which are incredibly favorable for the cranes.
Sarus Crane in Tram Chim National Park
Gaur (Indian Ox) – ~300 individuals left
An adult gaur can weigh up to a ton
Gaur is the biggest ox on earth with a strong and massively built body. Despite the fearful look, Gaurs in Vietnam are in a severe decline because of deforestation and human wrongful acts.
Gaurs usually gather in herds but their population has become incredibly fragmented
Now the majority of them are confined in evergreen forests in the Northern mountainous areas such as Son La and Lai Chau, as well in Southern provinces such as Dong Nai or Binh Phuoc.
Indochinese Tiger – ~5 individuals left
The mighty cat that used to be the king of jungles now faces the grim future of extermination. It is heartbroken to learn that apart from tigers captivated in zoos, there are no more than 5 tigers left in the wild in Vietnam.
Tigers are hapless victims of horrific illegal wild animals trade
There used to be sightings of the wild tigers in the borderline jungles with Cambodia but nowadays, it is virtually impossible to find any living proofs of this endangered species in Vietnam.
The aforementioned creatures are not only the symbols of Vietnam’s prosperous nature but also represent the nation’s spirit. The gaur depicts the people’s vigor; the tiger characterizes bravery, and the sarus crane is the embodiment of peace and tranquility.
Unfortunately, they are in grave danger of extinction and may only be recalled as “mythical symbols” in the near future. Apart from that, Vietnam is reported to have 320 rare wild animals that need urgent protection, including hog deer, freshwater crocodiles, White-shouldered ibises, pheasants, etc.
Freshwater crocodile, aka Siamese crocodile
A white-shouldered ibis in a paddy field
Vietnam is also home to 25 species of primates, and 11 of which are among the endangered species in Vietnam like Cat Ba Langur (approximately 64 individuals left), Long-tailed Macaque (about 2000 left in the world), Delacour’s Langur (about 200 individuals remaining), and snub-nosed monkey (around 200 left).
The long-tailed macaques are indigenous to Con Dao Island
A Cat Ba Langur capture on camera
How You Can Help Endangered Species in Vietnam
- Support the local communities on your visit, so that they don’t have to hunt the wild animals for a living
- Be mindful of the environment by reducing non-recyclable waste, and reducing plastic products. See more on Zero-waste Travel in Vietnam.
- Don’t take part in entertainment that involve animals exploitation (animal races and hunting)
- Don’t purchase products made from wild animals (horns, fur, teeth, and meat)
Read more on Ethical Travel in Vietnam
Check out our private motorbike tours with professional local guides
Summary of Endangered Species in Vietnam
The stark reality of the endangered species in Vietnam is obviously much greater than what we’ve just listed, so for the sake of the environment, it is vital to be conscious of our visit around Vietnam and be responsible travelers.
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