The critically endangered Tonkin snub-nosed monkey has been at the centre of FFI’s primate conservation activities for well over a decade. In 2002 and 2007, FFI surveys led to the discovery of two key populations of the species in Khau Ca forest, Ha Giang Province and later in Tung Vai watershed protection forest in Quan Ba district, Ha Giang province on the border with China.
Since 2002, FFI has been focusing on community-led conservation by engaging local communities in species monitoring and habitat protection. Established in 2009, the Khau Ca Species and Habitat Conservation Area engages with the Management Advisory Committee and Community Conservation Teams to determine its management structure. It is the first successful model of special use forest management and has demonstrated the role of communities in species conservation and decision making of a special use forest. FFI has also developed a species conservation action plan for these sites, and continues to raise awareness about this endemic primate.
In 2015, FFI built the Tung Vai conservation field station and today continues to support community-based patrol groups in Quan Ba. In April 2017, another conservation field station was built in Rao Dan Chai forest, also in Quan Ba. An assessment of the agriculture in Quan Ba identified the impact of cash and subsistence crop growth on forest quality. Cardamom was identified as the primary cash crop and FFI is currently planning mitigation strategies to protect forest quality for the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey.
Whilst the species is still listed as one of the 25 Most Endangered Primates in the World by the IUCN Primate Specialist Group, through FFI’s work the population in Ha Giang has increased by at least 75% to around 150 individuals.