More Species Became Endangered in Viet Nam, Says the Red Data Book

04 July 2008 | News story

Nearly 900 species are threatened with extinction and at least 10 more have vanished from Viet Nam, according to the latest Viet Nam Red Data Book of endangered plants and animals released on June 26th in Hanoi by the Viet Nam Academy of Science and Technology and IUCN.

“It has been 15 years since we compiled the first version of the Viet Nam Red Data Book.The country’s biodiversity status has changed a lot because of its rapid social and economic development”, said Prof. Dr. Dang Ngoc Thanh, Head of the 2007 Red Data Book Development Project Team, “The revision of the Book accurately captures the current status of biodiversity in Viet Nam.”

The Book revealed an alarming picture of Viet Nam’s fauna and flora richness.  A large number of species previously listed as vulnerable are now endangered and a high percentage of this group is now critically endangered. From 1992-1996, the most severe threatened status for species in Viet Nam, according to the Red Data Book, was endangered. Now, the most serious status is extinct. The number of endangered species has increased from 715 in 1992-1996 to 882 in 2005-2007.  

Yet, the current Red Data Book also contains encouraging information for the status of biodiversity in the area.  A number of species that were considered either extinct in the wild or extinct in Viet Nam, have been found in neighboring countries, according to IUCN’s data, such as Bò sám (Bos sauveli), Tê giác hai sừng (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis), Heo vòi (Tapirus indicus), Cầy rái cá (Cynogale lowei), and Cá chép gốc (Procypris merus). Furthermore, there are highly valuable yet critically endangered species that have exhibited population recovery and are no longer seriously threatened thanks to conservation efforts. These include the Hươu sao (Cervus nippon), Voọc đầu trắng (Trachypithecus francoisi poliocephalus), and some pheasant, python, and crocodile species.

The 2007 Red Data Book is a tool to assist Viet Nam’s conservation efforts by providing a threatened status assessment of species as well as solutions for recovering the community size of species experiencing significant individual loss.

The Viet Nam 2007 Red List and the Viet Nam 2007 Red Data Book were developed over five years by a team of more than 70 scientists from 10 national and international organizations, using the 1994 IUCN criteria for categorizing species. In addition to updating surveys and research as recent as 2005, the documentation development project also conducted a review of contested references and organized consultative workshops to resolve conflicting findings.  

IUCN has helped promote the document by providing assistance to develop the English version of the 2007 Red List and make the List electronically available via CD-Rom for easy access.