Our Mission and Approach

The SWG was formed in 2006 in recognition of the need for urgent, coordinated action to save the Saola from extinction. It is part of the Asian Wild Cattle Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC).

Our Mission

The Saola Working Group works collaboratively to conserve Saola in nature, and to leverage Saola as a flagship for conservation of the bio-cultural diversity of the Annamite Mountains as a whole.

Our Approach

The SWG embraces the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s One Plan  Approach to conservation: The One Plan approach to species conservation is the development of management strategies and conservation actions by all responsible parties for all populations of a species, whether inside or outside their natural range – Conservation Breeding Specialist Group

SWG’s approach is founded on four critical pillars:

  • Knowledge – act as the global repository for knowledge on Saola
  • Coordination – developing a co-ordinated strategy and defining effective methods
  • Collaboration – working through implementing partners on the ground to save Saola
  • Support – securing funding and support for priority Saola conservation projects

To achieve this approach SWG will:

  • Raise the profile of Saola internationally
  • Lead the One Plan Approach to Saola conservation
  • Catalyse Saola conservation by working with implementing partners across the range
  • Provide capacity for Saola detection efforts through implementing partners
  • Provide facilities for ex situ breeding
  • Act as the global repository for knowledge on Saola, enabling information-led conservation actions
  • Work with local governments to secure greater political support for Saola conservation

In addition to being the main driver of Saola conservation in Laos and Vietnam, the SWG advocates for conservation of the globally significant Annamite Mountains as a whole. The Annamite Mountains are important not only as the most likely habitat for the endangered Saola, but also because of their importance as a biologically diverse ecoregion that is home to other endangered species such as Large-antlered muntjac and Annamite striped rabbit.

For more information see about SWG , find out about our implementing partners, and read about our activities in our Annual Reports.