The snaring disaster and optimistic solutions for in situ wildlife conservation in Vietnam and Laos
Minh Thi Anh Nguyen
The Critically Endangered large-antlered muntjac (Muntiacus vuquangensis) is one of several threatened endemic species in the Annamite Mountains of Vietnam and Laos. These species are under high pressure from intensive illegal commercial snaring and wildlife trade. In situ conservation is failing partly because of uncertainty about the effects of snare densities on threatened species population viability. We will apply camera trapping and interview surveys to collect data on snaring patterns and estimate the capture vulnerability of animals that encounter snares in Bidoup Núi Bà National Park (Bidoup) in Vietnam and Khoun Xeâ Nongma (KXNM) in Laos. The immediate outcomes are estimation of species vulnerability to snaring, and a better understanding of the correlates of snare site selection by poachers. A real benefit to the wildlife will be achieved by engaging other conservation partners and the management authorities of the protected areas in our study, and working with them to develop better conservation strategies. We will also engage local community members and other local stakeholders to increase their conservation awareness. Together these actions will reduce the negative impacts of snaring in the study areas, as well as increase awareness of the conservation needs of large-antlered muntjac and other threatened species of the Annamites while raising their profiles globally.