Conservation of Delacour's Langur in Van Long Wetland Nature Reserve, Vietnam

Nguyen Manh Hiep
Publicado: 13 Mayo 2020
Última edición: 28 Septiembre 2021
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Van Long Wetland Nature Reserve (NR) is located in Ninh Binh province, Vietnam. Van Long NR claims to be the largest semi-natural inland wetland in the Northern Plain. The Nature Reserve is also home of the world's largest population of Delacour's langurs (Trachypithecus delacouri). Recent counts confirmed c. 150-160 individuals of this langur, a significant increase compared to the number at the time of NR establishment in 2001, which was 60-67 individuals. Delacour's langur is an endemic species to Northern Vietnam, and also listed as critical endangered globally by IUCN. This species is now legally protected by the Government of Vietnam. This solution is about one of the most sucessful efforts of species conservation in Vietnam.


Van Long received Green List certification in 2020.


Sudeste Asiático
Scale of implementation
Bosques tropicales de hoja perenne
Ecosistemas de agua dulce
Ecosistemas forestales
Humedales (pantano, turberas)
Actores locales
Comunicación y divulgación
Especies y la extinción
Gestión y planificación de áreas protegidas y conservadas
Gobernanza de las áreas protegidas y conservadas
Especies invasoras
Cacería furtiva
Contaminación (incluida la eutrofización y la basura)
Cosecha insostenible, incluida la sobrepesca
Gestión ineficaz de los recursos financieros
Desarrollo de Infraestructura
Falta de acceso a financiación a largo plazo
Extracción de recursos físicos
Falta de capacidad técnica
Falta de infraestructura
Sustainable development goals
ODS 1 - Fin de la pobreza
ODS 6 - Agua limpia y saneamiento
ODS 9 - Industria, innovacióne e infraestructura
ODS 13 - Acción por el clima
ODS 14 - Vida submarina
ODS 15 - Vida de ecosistemas terrestres
Aichi targets
Meta 1: Aumento de la sensibilization sobre la biodiversidad
Meta 2: Valores de biodiversidad integrados
Meta 4: Producción y consumo sostenibles
Meta 5: Pérdida de hábitat reducida a la mitad o reducida
Meta 6: Gestión sostenible de los recursos vivos acuáticos
Meta 7: Agricultura, acuicultura y silvicultura
Meta 11: Áreas protegidas y conservadas
Meta 13: Protección de la diversidad genética
Meta 14: Los servicios ecosistemicos
Meta 15: Restauración de ecosistemas y resiliencia
Meta 17: Estrategias y planes de acción para la biodiversidad
Meta 18: Conocimiento tradicional
Meta 19: Intercambio de información y conocimiento
Meta 20: Movilización de recursos de todas las fuentes
Business engagement approach
Indirecto a través del gobierno


Gia Vân, 432200, Huyện Gia Viễn, Ninh Bình, Vietnam
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  • Agricultural: Agricultural activities inside and especially outside NR involved the use of pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, etc. having negative impacts on the wetland ecosystem due to the hydrological connections between in- and outside the reserve.
  • Industrial: Van Long NR is impacted by smoke, dust, and waste disposals from Gian Khau Industrial Zone and other cement factories in the area.
  • Invasive species: At present, some alian invasive species recorded in NR such as yellow snail, red-eared slider turtle, tank cleaning fishes, water hyathine and Mimosa pigra. So far, there has been no measures to control these invasive species.
  • Wildlife hunting: At present, although strict protection was introduced, small-scale huntingh activities are still found, hunters using homemade guns and bird-nets.


Van Long Wetland Nature Reserve

Local communities

¿ Cómo interactúan los building blocks en la solución?

The Government recognition and local involvement have made species conservation a success and an ideal tourist attraction. Van Long NR has been one of the most successful examples in Vietnam of a unique conservation model between community-based tourism development and species and habitat conservation. The Van Long Nature Reserve Management Board and local authorities need to continue to work together, share benefits from tourism activities and reinvest in protection efforts in order to have better management of the wetland and karst ecosystem and its unique biodiversity.


The successful recovery of Delacour’s langur population in Van Long NR is a great story in itself. It has inspired other Protected Areas, as it provides an effective PA-based conservation approach. With good management and protection, as well as better law enforcement, introduced by the establishment of the Nature Reserve, the karst and wetland ecosystems in the area were well maintained and rehabilitated. In the last 20 years, the limestone forest cover has rapidly increased by up to 30%. While habitats improved, the number of wintering waterbirds has significantly increased, making Van Long an interesting birdwatching site that is attracting significant bird-watchers every year. Local communities have new livelihoods from eco-tourism. Being aware of the benefits from conservation of the NR, many of the local people now actively participate in conservation work, such as patrolling and environmental education activities.


Hien Nguyen Nadler

When Mr. Tilo, a German welder, air-conditioning engineer, arrived in Việt Nam in early 1990s, he immediately fell in love with its nature. He observed that wildlife was widely hunted and traded, especially our closest relatives, primate species. He decided to stay, became a conservationist, and was assigned as a project manager of the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) in 1993. The same year, he founded the Endangered Primate Rescue Center in response to the need for rehabilitation of confiscated primates. He stayed the Director of the EPRC for 22 years. At the time, the occurrence of few small populations of Delacour’s Langur, a Vietnamese endemic and globally critically endangered species, were confirmed in Cuc Phuong National Park and in open-use wetland area nearby, the Van Long wetland.

In the 1990s, small and fragmented langur populations and their habitat in Van Long were under severe threats from different types of human activities, e.g. hunting, land encroachment with industrial, mining, agricultural development, and livestock grazing. Fully aware of those threats, EPRC proposed to establish a protected area in this site. After years of lobbying, and in collaboration with the Forest Inventory and Planning Institute (FIPI) of Hanoi, a wetland nature reserved was successfully established in 2001 and a management board for the NR was later assigned. In the last 20 years, the management board of Van Long Wetland NR with support from EPRC and financial assistance from a number of donors, especially European Zoos, UNDP-SGP and annual investment from the Government of Vietnam, implemented a number of conservation actions to improve protection and habitat rehabilitation. Local communities were identified as part of the problem, but also of the solution. An environmental awareness and education programme was initiated in early 2000s, coupled with buffer-zone livelihoods projects, which helped in changing the locals' attitude into a more environmentally friendly one. Some former hunters changed their mind and became members of community conservation teams. With the establishment of a nature reserve, Van Long became a tourism destination. As the landscape is well protected, wildlife species and habitats recovered, and more and more tourists visit Van Long. The locals now have more job opportunities from tourism. They now value the site and actively protect it as their own asset. The nature reserve is now benefiting both nature and people.

Contribuido por

Imagen de duc.le_38572

Duc Le Center for Nature Conservation and Development (CCD)

Other contributors

IUCN Vietnam
Endangrered Primate Rescue Center (EPRC)
Van Long Wetland Nature Reserve