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Save Vietnam's Wildlife Monthly Newsletter
February 2016
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Dear Friends and Supporters,
Please note this newsletter is for both January and February. However, once you see all that we have been doing in the past couple of months  we hope you understand why we were a bit busy. We are sorry about the late Newsletter and we will be resuming our monthly newsletters from March.
Opening Ceremony of the Carnivore and Pangolin Education Centre on World Pangolin Day

We start a newsletter with wonderful news. On Saturday 20th February, Save Vietnam’s Wildlife in collaboration with Cuc Phuong National Park opened Vietnam’s first wildlife education centre that focusses on pangolins, the most traded animal in the world.

The Carnivore and Pangolin Education Centre has received much attention from the public and the media. The event was attended by over 180 people and included representatives from the Vietnamese government, British Ambassador Giles Levers, dignitaries from international embassies in Vietnam, national conservation organisations and local schoolchildren

The opening occurred on World Pangolin Day, an internationally recognised day that offers the opportunity for pangolin enthusiasts and conservationists to join together in raising awareness about these unique mammals and their plight.

We are grateful to all of our generous donors who donated to Carnivore and Pangolin Education Centre during the past one year. Without their support, we could not have done it.
Thai doing what he loves, working with the Pangolins.
Future for Nature Award
More good news
Thai Van Nguyen, the founder and executive director of Save Vietnam’s Wildlife is one of the three winners of the Future for Nature Award, a prestigious award given by the Future for Nature Foundation.

The goal of the Future for Nature Foundation is the protection of species of wild animals and plants and the conservation of nature in general. They believe that the hopes for the future lie with young conservationists. Future for Nature aims to stimulate a new generation of nature conservation leaders by providing support to young, highly committed and talented conservationists. For more about the award and winners, click here

Congratulations Thai, we are all so proud of you.
RESCUE, REHABILITATION AND RELEASE
Pangolins are released back to the wild
Sixteen Pangolins released
 
On Wednesday, the 17th of February, we released 16 of our rescued Sunda Pangolins in a safe and undisclosed location in Vietnam. The release occurred in the lead up to World Pangolin Day 20th February.

The released pangolins were confiscated by Forest Protection Department officers in Nghe An, Ha Nam and Thanh Hoa provinces between August and December 2015 in a traumatised and poor state and transferred to Save Vietnam’s Wildlife. After a period of nursing and care they were eventually deemed to be healthy enough to be returned to the wild. Two of the released pangolins were a mother and child that had been rescued together and have now been returned to the wild.

After more than 20 hours travelling in a bus and then a long trek through the forest at night, we returned the pangolins back to the wild. Releasing Pangolins is an immensely satisfying task for us, however it is also so very costly. Many our staff were involved as the animals need careful monitoring while in transit. Once at their destination pangolins are offered a final meal of frozen ants and ant eggs, before being carefully carried deep into the forest in their transfer boxes to a location safe enough for release. We also needed to hire a truck, carry out habitat assessments to ensure release sites are safe and suitable. Ideally, we like to be to track each released pangolin but at the moment we don’t have funds to do this.

This latest release brought to a total of 75 Sunda Pangolins released by our centre in the last 8 months.
SUPPORT US TO RELEASE OUR RESCUED PANGOLINS
Mr Hung helping one of the pangolins who escaped into a bucket at the police station out.
Five New Pangolins Rescued

Five Sunda Pangolins confiscated from the wildlife trade in Nghe An province have been rescued and brought back to our centre on January 28th 2016. When we arrived to collect them, one pangolin had tried to escape and was in a bucket, the four others were still tied up and enclosed in a toilet room. Our head keeper Mr. Luong Tat Hung had to break the bucket to get the poor pangolin out. He then brought them back to our care. After three days, they were recovering well and eating again. The state is which we pick up pangolins from confiscation again reminds us of how much further training we need to do with police to make sure they know how to care for pangolins between confiscation and our pick up.

According to the trader who was fined for attempting to sell these pangolins, the animals were bought in Laos and would be transported to Northern provinces of Vietnam where he could receive about four million dong ($180) per one kg of pangolin. This is another reason for us to expand our efforts to stop the wildlife trade.
PLEASE DONATE to help us continue training rangers and police on how to care for confiscated Pangolins.
One of the new pairs shortly after they were introduced
Owston’s Civet breeding Season
 
Since 2005 the Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Program (CPCP), now managed by SVW and Cuc Phuong National Park, has been involved in the Owston's Civet Conservation Breeding Program in partnership with Newquay Zoo in Britain.
In December we introduced four pairs and they will stay together for three months. The main purpose of breeding programs for vulnerable species like the Owston’s Civet is to ensure genetic diversity so that when the animals are released back in the wild populations are healthy, diverse and have a better chance of survival. Learn more about this program at here

Our sincere thanks go to Newquay Zoo for their technical and financial support.
ANIMAL WELFARE
Keeping pangolins warm both day and night time
Taking care for animals in the Winter months
 
This winter has been the coldest winter in the North of Vietnam for 40 years and our keepers have been busy these months improving the facilities of the animals in our care.
With the weather sometimes reaching only 2o C the keepers installed wooden floors into the pangolin sleeping boxes in quarantine to lift their straw beds up from the concrete floor. Not only that, we also used heaters and heating pads to keep bed boxes warm.
Laying the new floor
The keepers have also been upgrading the quarantine facilities to prepare for the rainy season by laying new floors and improving drainage around the quarantine building. This will assist in reducing the harmful mould that is a constant problem in humid places like Vietnam.
Help us improve lives of our animals
Mr. B took to the new feeder immediately
Improving the lives of our animals in Captivity
The keepers have also been making and installing enrichment devices for the binturongs and civets. These hanging feeding devices are made from bamboo which is plentiful locally. A cheap and effective innovation which the animals are very happy to use. 
Worms worms worms!
Lastly we have started a worm farm. Worms are part of civet’s natural diet and before we started the worm farm we had to dig locally for worms which can be a time consuming exercise. Thanks to Heidi our Technical Advisor who established the worm farm, we now have a sustainable source of healthy worms to feed our civets.
WILDLIFE EDUCATION
School Children visited Education Centre
On the day of the Opening Ceremony of the Carnivore and Pangolin Education Centre, there were 40 local students from Cuc Phuong Primary School who joined us in the celebration and came to learn about our animals.

The innovative and interactive atmosphere at the Education Centre helps children to discover the diverse lives of these unique creatures, understand the threats that the animals have to face nowadays. Hopefully they will spread the word to their family  and about the threats to these incredible species and grow up with a deep love their national wildlife.
Learning from others
Ignoring the serious cold weather outside with hot coffee and a warm, friendly atmosphere, our centre was fortunate to have the wonderful Sarah Bates from National Wildlife Federation (USA) shared her knowledge and experience with us. We also invited other rescues centres in Cuc Phuong as well as Cuc Phuong's Scientific Department to participate. Sarah introduced us to the model of wildlife conservation in US, which incorporates Eco-tourism. Sarah also shared her wisdom about NGO Boards. We have now completed our governance review and this year we will be improving all our management systems which are essential for laying the groundwork for good governance.
Working with the local community
One of core objectives of Save Vietnam’s Wildlife is to educate next generations towards wildlife conservation. We need to understand more about the awareness and attitudes of students in order to carry out the most effective education programs. In December our Wildlife Education team worked with the Conservation Awareness Program of Cuc Phuong National Park  and Cuc Phuong Secondary School to find out more about education activities that have been undertaken with children living around the park.
RESEARCH
Our dedicating volunteers at a data-training workshop in Hanoi
Our social research project now is proceeding well. The entering of the data is nearing completion.
This project, funded by Humane Society International, investigates Vietnamese people’s knowledge and attitudes to pangolins and the wildlife trade. 8210 individuals from 15 regions across Vietnam were interviewed by 114 Volunteers trained by Ms. Lan and Ms. Phuong, from our Education Team.  A separate targeted questionnaire was also prepared for conducting interviews with restaurants, medical shops, traders and hunters across four regions of Vietnam with 131 responses. At the moment, volunteers are currently entering all the data for analysis: over 5000 questionnaire responses have been entered into our system.
One of the volunteers sent us a diary he made of his experiences working on the Survey Project.
Volunteers become wildlife activists
Over the past few months we have been conducting a large national survey about Vietnamese peoples' knowledge and attitudes to pangolins and the wildlife trade. We interviewed over 8,000 people. We enrolled the support of over 100 Volunteers to help us conduct the survey and input data. The Wildlife Education staff have therefore been conducting lots of training sessions with volunteers: educating them on wildlife awareness, how to conduct interviews and how to input data. Many of them have moved by the experienced and have become inspired to continue spreading the word about the threats to Pangolins.  Some even came back to Cuc Phuong National Park on World Pangolin Day to help us with the  opening ceremony of our Education Centre. We greatly appreciate our enthusiastic volunteers who have worked with diligence and passion. 
International volunteers
Between January and March, we welcomed 10 international volunteers who came to help us out. A special thanks to Luke Ash, a teacher of Folkestone School, England for Girls and Kirsty Ash, a Community Engagement Officer. We took the special opportunity to get their insights about writing lessons plans and event management. Another volunteer was Elizabeth Grasso, a veterinary nursing student whose visit coincided with the release of 16 pangolins back to the wild and the opening of the new education centre, she has shared her unforgettable experience in our centre. Her story is available on our website here.
OUR TEAM
Hello and Goodbye
Hello!
Dr Gillian Fuller, our new Communications and Development Advisor arrived in mid- December for an 18 Month Placement. Gillian is an Australian Volunteer for International Development funded by the Australian Government. Gillian was Senior Lecturer in Media, Culture and Technology at UNSW for 15 years and a former Director and Project Leader of some of Australia’s largest Digital Humanities projects. She has also worked as a User Experience and Communications consultant for the Museum and Digital Media Industries for over 20 years. Gillian is a passionate environmentalist and is delighted to be working with team at SVW. During her placement she will help guiding the team through their next stage of growth: mentoring staff in management planning, and communications and fundraising strategies.

Ms. Tran Thi Mai Anh, our new Communication Officer joined Save Vietnam’s Wildlife in January 2016. Mai Anh is a graduate of Vietnam Forestry University, Hanoi with a major in Natural Resources Management, where she graduated first in her year. She was awarded a scholarship to attend the MyCOE/SERVIR Capstone Event in the United States in 2014 and received the 'Sao Thang Gieng' Award for her activities while at University. Mai Anh has also previously worked as a Research Assistant in conservation projects. With her passion for protecting wildlife and strong conservation awareness, Mai Anh is keen to keep evolving her skills in order to play a significant part in wildlife conservation in Vietnam. We are delighted to welcome Gillian and Mai Anh to the team.
Goodbye!
This month we say good bye to three staff: Heidi Quine, our Technical Advisor leaves us to return to Australia after 1 year with us and 5 years in Southeast Asia. Heidi arrived at the crucial time at our organization and played as a huge role in our current successes. She worked with both captive and office team building capacity and was always full of great ideas which she delivered with warmth and enthusiasm. We will miss her greatly. Nguyen Phuong Thao who was our Special Projects Communications Officer from June 2015 to Jan 2016. She leaves to take up a prestigious Endeavour scholarship in Australia, where she will be continuing her studies in Design and Project Management.  Thao lead the development, design and project management of our New Education Centre. Although Thao is away from us, she still managed to find time to help us with the opening of the Education Centre In February.  She will always be ‘one of us’. Le Thi Ngoc was our Communications Officer from June to November 2015. Ngoc was responsible for our monthly newsletter, updating the website and Facebook pages. We wish all of them the best in their future adventures.
We would like to say a big thank you to supporters across the globe, without whom we could not carry out our vital operations.
Organization Donors
 
Individual Donors
 
Whitley Wildlife
Conservation Trust,
Newquay Zoo,
Welttierschutzgesellschaft e.V,
Humane Society International,
Taronga Conservation Society Australia,
The Barrett Foundation,
Shaldon Wildlife Trust,
Safari West,
Genentech.














 
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