There aren’t any wild gorillas in Vietnam, but that isn’t to say the country is devoid of primates. In fact, there are several species of primates in the country, yet they all face massive challenges.
Where are wild gorillas found?
Your best bet for seeing gorillas in the wild is in Africa. Countries such as Gabon, Cameroon, Rwanda, Uganda, and Congo house large communities of wild gorillas and can be easily seen with a detour into the forests. Vietnam, however, does not house these animals but the country is home to several other, smaller species of primates.
Primates of Vietnam
Vietnam houses 24 species of primate and 12 of these are endemic. In recent decades, the population of these creatures has been put under serious threat from poachers, landscape changes, and overall habit loss.
Cat Ba Langur
Exclusive to Cat Ba Island, this langur species is considered critically endangered and is one of the rarest primates in the world. They live on the island’s limestone cliffs and spend a lot of their time resting. Less than 70 individuals make up this species and it has been estimated that there has been an 80% population decline across the last three generations.
Hunting used to be commonplace with many traders using selling ‘monkey balm’ to medicinal practitioners. The Cat Ba langur continues to face great adversity. Though conversation efforts have been put in place, the species continues to teeter on the edge of extinction.
Eastern Black Crested Gibbon
Venture into the Phong Nam-Ngoc Khe Mountains in the Trung Khanh District and you may be able to spot the Eastern black crested gibbon, also called the Cao-vit Crested Gibbon. One of the rarest primates in the world, there were no confirmed sightings of it for almost four decades. Today, there are around 37 individuals in Vietnam and a handful in China.
Human activity and poaching are the main reasons behind the decline of the Eastern black gibbon. If immediate action isn’t done soon, the species will be wiped off the face of the Earth.
Tonkin Snub-Nosed Monkey
The Tonkin snub-nosed monkey was once widespread throughout Vietnam however in recent years, the species has dispersed to the Bac Kan, Ha Giang, Tuyen Quang, and Thai Nguyen regions. Less than 300 individuals remain and the species is considered critically endangered.
Con Dao Long-tailed Macaque
There are five species of long-tailed Macaque in Vietnam and all of them face imminent extinction. The Con Dao Macaque is named after the archipelago they call home. It’s estimated that there are only 200 individuals in the world.
Though there aren’t any gorillas in Vietnam, there are still plenty of primates you’ll be able to spot if you’re lucky. Hopefully, conservation work will continue to maintain the bloodline of these beautiful creatures.