Recently, several highly endangered species were discovered in an unprotected forest in Vietnam’s Central Highlands. Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and GreenViet, a biodiversity conservation NGO based in Da Nang, undertook months of fieldwork involving human observation and 130 remote camera traps in Kon Plong District. More than 120 species of mammals and birds were recorded in Kon Plong, including the critically endangered gray-shanked douc langur (Pygathrix cinerea), a monkey endemic to Vietnam, as well as the northern yellow-cheeked gibbon (Nomascus gabriellae), Owston’s palm civet (Chrotogale owstoni), pygmy slow loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus) – all endangered species – Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus), otters and forest cats. A separate biodiversity summary notes that Kon Plong is likely home to the largest gray-shanked douc langur population in Vietnam, while the Owston’s palm civet population is also significant as the species has been decimated by snares and hunting in national parks elsewhere in the country.
Remarkably, there is currently no specific biodiversity protection in place in Kon Plong’s forest, which spans 84,000 hectares (207,600 acres). The forest has become increasingly fragmented and degraded over recent years. Experts agree that if there is no effort made to preserve and sustainably manage the forest, the wildlife will soon disappear.