The status of wild canids (Canidae, Carnivora) in Vietnam

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Michael Hoffmann
Alexei Abramov
Hoang Minh Duc
Le Trong Trai
Barney Long
An Nguyen
Nguyen Truong Son
Ben Rawson
Robert Timmins
Tran Van Bang
Daniel Willcox


Four species of wild canids are documented as occurring in Vietnam: Dhole Cuon alpinus, Eurasian Golden Jackal Canis aureus, Red Fox Vulpes vulpes and Raccoon Dog Nyctereutes procyonoides.  Except for Dhole, all species are widely distributed globally and are listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.  Concerned by the paucity of recent records of these species from Vietnam, especially in the context of rapidly declining mammal populations in the country in general, we undertook a review of the status of these species in Vietnam.  All traceable and potentially verifiable canid records from 01 January 2002 until 31 December 2018 were collated and reviewed.  The Dhole, formerly the most widely distributed of all canid species in Vietnam, and Raccoon Dog, apparently formerly widely distributed in the northern part of the country, appear to have both declined; Dhole is now either extirpated, or close to extirpation, while Raccoon Dog is of uncertain status.  The Eurasian Golden Jackal does not seem to have been reliably observed in the wild since 2004, although it is possible the species may persist in some areas.  Red Fox has only ever been known from a handful of records, and the current status of this species is unknown. In summary, Vietnam cannot be considered to sustain healthy populations of any of its four native wild canid species. These declines seem largely attributable to hunting of both the canids themselves and, for Dhole, their prey base, exacerbated by habitat loss. 


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Author Biographies

Alexei Abramov, Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Universitetskaya nab. 1, Saint Petersburg 199034, Russian Federation.

Alexei Abramov does research in morphology, phylogeography and taxonomy of Carnivora. He also studies the biodiversity and systematics of Southeast Asian mammals during last two decades

Hoang Minh Duc, Southern Institute of Ecology, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology. 01 Mac Dinh Chi St., District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Hoang Minh Duc is a Senior Researcher at Southern Institute of Ecology, Vietnam. He is a wildlife ecologist by training and also studies the biodiversity of terrestrial vertebrates in Vietnam

Le Trong Trai, Viet Nature Conservation Centre, Apt. 202, building 18T2, Le Van Luong Street, Hanoi, Vietnam.

Le Trong Trai is a leading field ecologist (mammologist and ornithologist) and protected area planner in Vietnam, with over 35 years’ working experience. He is currently Director of Viet Nature Conservation Centre

Barney Long, Global Wildlife Conservation, PO Box 129, Austin, TX 78767, USA.

Barney Long is Senior Director of Species Conservation at Global Wildlife Conservation and has worked in Vietnam since 1999. He previously ran the global species program for WWF-US and has conducted fieldwork and run conservation projects throughout Southeast Asia

An Nguyen, Global Wildlife Conservation, PO Box 129, Austin, TX 78767, USA.

Nguyen An has spent more than seven years on species conservation and fieldwork throughout Vietnam. Since 2014, he has been working with Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research to coordinate systematic biodiversity surveys across several protected areas in both Vietnam and Laos

Nguyen Truong Son, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources, Graduate University of Science and Technology, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, 18 Hoang Quoc Viet, Caugiay, Hanoi, Vietnam.

Nguyen Truong Son is a researcher at the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources, Vietnam Academy of sciences, specializing in the taxonomy and conservation of small mammals, especially bats.

Ben Rawson, WWF-Vietnam, Nam Tu Liem District, Hanoi, Vietnam.

Ben Rawson has 16 years conservation experience in Cambodia and Vietnam, working on species conservation and monitoring projects and improving protected area coverage and management. He currently works as the Conservation and Program Development Director for WWF-Vietnam

Robert Timmins, 51123 Monroe Street, Evanston, IL 60202, USA.

Rob Timmins is a biologist with several decades of experience working in Southeast Asia, and has discovered several new species to science, including the Laotian Rock Rat and Annamite Striped Rabbit

Tran Van Bang, Southern Institute of Ecology, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology. 01 Mac Dinh Chi St., District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Tran Van Bang obtained his MSc in 2013 and since then has been conducting research and species surveys across Vietnam to help document their distribution and conservation status

Daniel Willcox, Save Vietnam’s Wildlife, Cuc Phuong National Park, Nho Quan, Ninh Binh, Vietnam.

Daniel Willcox works as the Science Adviser for Save Vietnam’s Wildlife, a local NGO in Vietnam


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