IUCN SSC Position Statement: Urgent call to increase efforts in finding saola

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature Species Survival Commission (IUCN SSC) have released a Position Statement on the critical need to focus efforts on saola conservation (19th August 2021). The statement urges immediate action to identify and conserve existing populations before it is too late.

The release of this Position Statement on the conservation of Saola by IUCN Species Survival Commission is a huge boost to efforts to detect saola. We urgently need to increase the intensity of effort to find saola by partner organisations in Laos and Viet Nam, and increase the funding support to these efforts. SSC’s support, alongside that of Asian Species Action Partnership demonstrates the important opportunity we have to save saola.

© Ban Vangban village/Wildlife Conservation Society

The Saola Working Group is working with partners on many activities to find and protect saola. Our current priority is to complete a Saola Knowledge Review to collate all available information about potential saola sites, habitat suitability and also the value of a range of detection methods. This will allow us to determine the focus for partners’ future detection work and also which methods are most likely to be successful in finding saola. The review will be of value for partners in both Viet Nam and Laos and will be integral to a Viet Nam Saola Detection Plan that will be developed with partners in late 2021 and early 2022.

“We urgently need to coordinate an unprecedented level of detection efforts, foster an open collaboration and bridge the gap between science and conservation if we are to save Saola from extinction. This also include bringing international expertise and learning lessons from positive experiences around the world on rescuing species from the brink of extinction before it is too late.” Carolina Soto-Navarro, National Coordinator of IUCN SSC Saola Working Group Viet Nam

If you would like to learn more or offer your support in any way please get in touch with Carolina Soto-Navarro (Viet Nam Coordinator SWG) carolina.soto-navarro@wwf.org.vn, Soutchai Khamphouxay (Lao PDR Coordinator SWG) Soutchai.KHAMPHOUXAY@ext.iucn.org, or James Burton (Chair Asian Wild Cattle Specialist Group) jamesaburton@yahoo.co.uk.

Find out more about the Position Statement here:

IUCN SSC Position Statement on the Conservation of Saola

IUCN Asian Species Action Partnership (ASAP): The fight against Saola extinction: there’s still time if we act now

Saola Foundation: Let’s seize this moment!