Monthly Archives

January 2015

First Owston’s Civet rescued in 14 years

Rescued Civet in 14 years

Since 1995, the CPCP/Save Vietnam’s Wildlife is the only rescue centre which has a successful track record in the rehabilitation and breeding of Owston’s Civets. This is the first rescue of an Owston’s Civet to the CPCP centre since 2002.

The Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Program (CPCP), a collaboration between Save Vietnam’s Wildlife (SVW) and Cuc Phuong National Park, worked with Xuan Loc – Long Khanh Forest Protection Station (FPS), Dong Nai Province to successfully rescue an Owston’s Civet (Chrotogate owstoni). This is the first rescue of an Owston’s Civet to the CPCP centre since 2002. The individual is now under special care at the CPCP/Save Vietnam’s Wildlife.

This civet was voluntarily handed over by Mr Luu Quang Mat, a local person from Long Khanh, Dong Nai Province. He contacted SVW’s wildlife crime hotline 0978.331.441 directly. According to Mr Luu, he bought two Owston’s Civets in 2014 from a local hunter in Ho Chi Minh City and raised them as pets without knowing the species is prohibited for hunting and trading for commercial purposes. One of the civets had died due to its weakness. After that, he decided to hand over the remaining civet to the rescue centre.

“Fortunately, I could contact Save Vietnam’s Wildlife to get a better solution for this rare species. If I had known about the organisation earlier, another civet would not have died. All I want now is for this civet to recover so that it can be released back into the wild. I believe that the civet is now in good hands”, Mr Luu said.

The Owston’s Civet is one of the rarest civet species in Vietnam. It is classified in group IIB under Decree 32/2006/NĐ-CP and prioritized for protection by the Government. In order to ensure confiscated Owston’s Civets and other wildlife will be transferred to rescue centres, Save Vietnam’s Wildlife conducted an Owston’s Civet Awareness Campaign in late 2014.

Mr Tran Quang Phuong, CPCP Manager, said: “This rescue marks the first result of our campaign in raising public awareness of Owston’s Civet conservation. Also, it motivates the governmental authorities to keep responding on the confiscation of this species and transferring them to rescue centres.” Phuong added: “This individual is in good health. It will greatly contribute to our Owston’s Civet Conservation Breeding Program which is designed to increase the genetic diversity of wild populations”.

“Working with CPCP/Save Vietnam’s Wildlife, we understand that releasing Owston’s Civet straight back into the forests without quarantine and monitoring may harm wild populations. We highly appreciate Mat’s action and will continue to work closely with local communities as well as the rescue centres for further rescue activities in future.” Mr Nguyen Huu Hai from Xuan Loc – Long Khanh FPS, stated. Mr Nguyen Van Thai, Director of Save Vietnam’s Wildlife added, “Owston’s Civet can carry the Avian Influenza H5N1. Many Owston’s Civets died in 2005 and 2008 due to the Avian Influenza H5N1. Therefore, the animals need to be quarantined with careful health assessment before we can return them back to the wild. Keeping Owston’s Civets as pets or eating them in restaurants may transfer the disease to people”.

Since 1995, the CPCP/Save Vietnam’s Wildlife is the only rescue centre which has a successful track record in the rehabilitation and breeding of Owston’s Civets. If you are in possession of an Owston’s Civet, or have made a sighting, please contact CPCP/Save Vietnam’s Wildlife at 0978.331.441 to give this rare species a better chance of survival.

Conducting the Owston’s civet Awareness Campaign for the first time

Civet Poster Campaign

The campaign aims to highlight the importance of Owston’s civet conservation to ensure confiscated Owston’s civets and confiscated wildlife as well will be transferred to rescue centres. This is the first time an awareness campaign towards Owston’s civet conservation has been conducted in Vietnam. 

The highlighted activity of the campaign that is Save Vietnam’s Wildlife staff travelled approximately 5000 kilometers to visit and directly delivery Owston’s civet posters and calendars to forest rangers of eight central provinces, two national parks and 19 northern provinces in Vietnam including: Thanh Hoa, Ha Tinh, Nghe An, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Hue, Da Nang, Quang Nam, Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Bach Ma National Park, Hoa Binh, Son La, Dien Bien, Lai Chau, Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Tuyen Quang, Ha Giang, Phu Tho, Vinh Phuc, Bac Giang, Bac Ninh, Hai Duong, Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Hung Yen, Ninh Binh, Nam Dinh and Ha Noi.

At each ranger stations, Save Vietnam’s Wildlife staffs have shared the situation of conservation and threats of Owston’s civet in particular and Carnivores and Pangolins in general with rangers. The necessary knowledge and skills on how to identify wild animals, how to handle and care for confiscated carnivores and pangolins were also provided to rangers. Besides, the numbers of Pangolin Information Factsheet have been also delivered to all rangers.

Mr. Nguyen Van Thai, Executive Director of Save Vietnam’s Wildlife shared: “There is no Owston’s civets have been transferred to rescue centres in Vietnam for over 12 years. Most confiscated Owston’s civets have been released straight back into the nearest forests without the consideration of quarantine, monitoring, or a viable location for release. They often get auctioned for the legal market. We hope the awareness campaign helps get more attention and action amongst functional authorities and public towards Owston’s civet and wildlife protection”.

The Owston’s civet (Chrotogale owstoni) becomes one of the rarest civet species in Vietnam for many reasons. Due to its largely terrestrial habitats, the Owston’s civet is vulnerable to snare traps, one of the most common hunting methods throughout their home ranges. In addition, this species appears to be in higher demand than other civets due to their beautiful pelt and the large scent glands which are used in traditional medicine. Owston’s civet is classified as a vulnerable species according to both IUCN Red List and Vietnam Red Book.

To date, there are only 19 Owston’s civets in captivity all over the world and all of which are managed by Save Vietnam’s Wildlife (SVW) in cooperation with Cuc Phuong National Park. Save Vietnam’s Wildlife has successfully conducted the Owston’s Civet Conservation Breeding Program following which 66 Owston’s civets from 14 rescued and rehabilitated wild individuals have been successfully bred.