Photo credit: David Hulse
The Saola, Pseudoryx nghetinhensis, is listed as ‘CRITICALLY ENDANGERED’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. Restricted to a narrow area on the border between Vietnam and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, this unusual bovid was discovered as recently as 1992, but is already in grave danger of extinction.
The Saola is under great threat from hunting, with individuals killed for food or snared incidentally in traps set for other animals. This problem is exacerbated by habitat loss, with forests being cleared for agriculture, timber, roads and other development, while logging roads fragment the remaining forest and open it up to hunters. Economic development and human population growth in the region are only likely to increase these threats.
Although the Saola occurs in some protected areas, effective management and conservation of many of these areas has been a problem. The species is legally protected in both Vietnam and Lao PDR, and a number of conservation initiatives are underway. However, the future of this unique but little-known species remains uncertain.
To learn more about the Saola, click here. Or visit the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ by clicking their logo below.
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