Saturday, 21 February 2015

Spotting the wildelife on Son Tra

 Near Da Nang,  on the Son Tra peninsular there communities of Red Shank Duoc langurs living in the tropical forests. They are only found in Central Vietnam, and in adjoining forests of Cambodia and Laos.  On the peninsular there are about 500 langurs and about 1,000 Assamese Macaque. 

We were fortunate enough to be taken for a tour of the birds and primates of the penisula with a friend who is an ecologist and worked with Dr. Larry Ulidarri of the Son Tra Douc Research and Conservation Project. he researched the Red Shank langurs for 4 years and said that SonTraPeninsula is the only place in the world where these rare animals are living in the wild.

THis photograph is not mine - but they are so hard to see that I had to pinch a photo from the internet. Mine, as you can see, are not as good at all!

This strange shot was taken through Luc's (the ecologist) spotting scope and the one below is from my camera. You can see a large langur swinging through the branches of a large tree where the family had been sleeping.

In the picture, below, you can see a rope bridge that has been slung across the road to help the langurs move around the peninsular. 

Luc planted ficus trees to attach the bridge to. the idea is that the trees wil grown and will form ther own bridge across the road . Luc looks forward to showing off this project to his children one day - if he can find the right girl to marry!

Views from the peninsula looking towards Da Nang and across the estuary to Hai Van Pass which cuts through the mountains to Hue. 

The peninsula was a military base during the war and is a relatively untouched habitat. We saw only two or three other people during our morning on the mountain so it makes a welcome break from the bustle of Da Nang and Hoi An if you fancy getting a little closer to nature.

At one time, all of vietnam would have been covered with forest and jungle like this area but the indiscriminate use of Agent Orange stripped all the hills and mountains of trees and undergrowth and the whole of central Vietnam is largely naked to this day. A visit to Son Tra reminded me what a tropical paradise this country used to be.

Here is another poor photograph of a Red Shank Douc langur, some eary mornign butterflies and a red Sun catcher.

We saw many more beautiful creatures but I wasn't quick enough to capture them
 Luc does private tours of the peninsular on request. His specialist knowedge of this habitat is unique and he is a charming guide. 

Send a message on his facebook and mention my name.
Me, Pandy and Luc