Increasing collaboration for Saola detection efforts

The Saola Working Group has recently hosted two meetings with partners in Vietnam and Laos to collate the latest knowledge on detection work for saola and share experiences to make detection efforts more effective in future.

These introductory virtual meetings were held for Vietnam and Laos partners on 2nd February and 28th April, respectively. More than 40 participants took part and they represented 16 partner organisations in total. There was very strong sharing of information about detection efforts with ten presentations from the partners about their wildlife monitoring work in potential Saola sites.

Introductory slides for the presentations that were delivered by partners on their activities in the Laos Partners meeting on April 28th

Meeting outcomes:

  • The meetings are the next step in completing a Saola Status Knowledge Review document that will be vital to inform future detection efforts and any strategy or plan developed. The last time this effort was conducted was for the 2016 Red List Assessment, so this is very timely.
  • During the meeting it was agreed that there needs to be greater sharing of experience in detection methods between partners. SWG is hosting further meetings to achieve this in the coming months, including bringing together Viet Nam and Laos partners.
  • The SWG will work to raise the profile of Saola with relevant offices in both governments, updating them on the latest information on detection efforts to ensure strong government support
  • The Viet Nam partners are also interested to better coordinate their work in a national plan for saola detection. A second partners meeting was held on 11th May to agree the scope and purpose of such a plan. The details of the plan will be written in the coming months.

 ‘This increasing collaboration is a very positive step forwards in detecting saola. We hope that this will catalyse greater saola detection effort by partners’ in future, using the most effective methods, focused in priority sites.’

James Burton, SWG Governance Body Chair.

Participants during the introductory Vietnam Partners Meeting on 2nd February

We appreciate the generous sharing of their knowledge by all participants from SWG partner organisations, listed below. We appreciate the support of Jamie Copsey of IUCN SSC Conservation Planning Specialist Group for facilitating the meetings and the help of WWF Viet Nam and IUCN Lao PDR for arranging the meetings.

Vinh University, Center for Nature Conservation and Development, GreenViet Biodiversity Conservation Centre, Southern Institute of Ecology, Save Vietnam’s Wildlife, Viet Nature Conservation Centre, Central Institute for Natural Resources and Environmental Studies and University of Science, Vietnam National University, Flora and Fauna International, IUCN Viet Nam, WWF Viet Nam, IUCN Lao PDR, WCS Lao PDR, WWF-Laos, Association Anoulak, Integrated Conservation of Biodiversity and Forests (ICBF), National Zoo, World Bank – Lao Landscape and Livelihood Project, Asian Arks, Saola Foundation.