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Species360 Insights: Researchers recommend One Plan Approach for species endemic to Vietnam

On left: A Truong Son pit viper or Quang Binh pit viper (Trimeresurus truongsonensis), an endangered snake found in Vietnam.

Excerpt: “A Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS) analysis revealed that 22.5% (n = 109) of all reptiles occurring in Vietnam and only 6.3% (n = 10) of the endemic Vietnamese reptiles are currently kept in zoos worldwide. Although 60.8% (n = 45) of the threatened reptiles (n = 74) from Vietnam are currently held in zoos, only 23.5 (n = 8) of the endemic threatened species (n = 34) are held there. Following the IUCN CPSG`s One Plan Approach to Conservation, it is therefore recommended to increase the number of threatened and endemic species in breeding stations and zoos to maintain assurance populations.”

Published September 2023 in Nature Conservation, a new study recommends the IUCN CPSG’s One Plan Approach to Conservation be followed to protect hundreds of species found only in Vietnam. Key insights to the study and recommendations were made possible by zoos and aquariums and other Species360 members that curate and share species data in ZIMS.

By using Species360 ZIMS to assess zoo collections worldwide, the researchers found that only one-fifth of Vietnam’s reptile species are currently kept in captivity, mainly in facilities in North America and Europe, including only 23% of the endemic species listed on the IUCN Red List — a group the researchers deem particularly prone to extinction and a priority for ex-situ conservation.

Study co-author Thomas Ziegler, coordinator of biodiversity and nature conservation projects for Vietnam and Laos at Cologne Zoological Garden in Germany, said in a Mongabay article announcing the findings: “If a species has gone extinct, this is irreversible,” Ziegler said. “If we still have threatened species in zoos, they are available for reintroductions, once the problem in nature is solved … This is in line with the One Plan Approach to Conservation by IUCN’s Conservation Planning Specialist Group (CPSG).”

Read the full article in Mongabay. And check out the original study at Nature Conservation!

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