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Vietnam Wildlife Found threatened

Reptile, lizard, amphibian, Chinese water dragon

News from herpdigest:

      As you know many of the wild caught water dragons coming into North America and likely many of the other countries are from Vietnam. I've always known/suspected that many wildlife species in Vietnam were endangered/threatened. Here is some official proof. :( BTW I don't know if water dragons are considered threatened or not ... as far as I know they aren't at this time.

Vietnam Wildlife Found Threatened HANOI, Vietnam (AP)

      Nearly 10 percent of Vietnam's wildlife is in danger of extinction, according to the World Wildlife Fund Indo-China Program's report on the global environment. The report ranked Vietnam 16th out of 152 countries in endangered species, the Lao Dong newspaper reported today. The report put Mauritius, New Zealand, Madagascar, Haiti, Cuba and Australia atop the list with 10 percent to 40 percent of their wildlife under threat of extinction.

      Vietnam's traditional forest sanctuaries have shrunk dramatically over the past few decades as the result of destruction from war and deforestation. Some wild animals are hunted for food or for use in traditional medicine.

      (side note: over collection of species could also be a cause of this. Vietnam, while a member of the countries who support the C.I.T.E.S listings, does not regulate it's export very strictly. :( The average income there is $200 a year so many people do collect wild animals to sell to traders to support their families. :( )


      The country of Vietnam (north and south I presume) has a population of over 93 million people and an area of over 3000 square kilometres. The country is undergoing rapid deforestation. Mostly due to the high population, and due to the large amount of unemployment in the country.

      Unemployment is over 40%. Inflation rates are 500 to 700%! The average income is $200 American per year. One half or more of the population is under the age of 17. There are literally children everywhere. There is a 2.3% population increase each year. Downtown Hanoi looks like a village when compared to the wealthy Downtown Hong Kong.

      Any hill that is climbable is bare! It is very common to see the women of each village go out daily to forage for firewood. They come back with large bundles of sticks ... often trees are cut down for firewood. The forests are also being cut down at a rapid rate for the logging industry. They are losing one species of tree a day! Where forests have been cleared many Vietnamese have planted coffee fields.

      The Vietnam war likely played a large role in the countries economic status and the devastation that can still be found there today. It is easy to see areas that were bombed- large craters, or areas where no trees and barely any plant life are located there. Many rainforest areas were damaged or destroyed by chemicals like agent orange and napalm.

      Vietnam is likely one of the largest areas of biodiversity in the world! It is quite possible that it would be even more diverse had not the Vietnam war taken place. The war likely wiped out many many species that depended upon one particular ecosystem to survive.

      79% of new medications are created from plants. 1 in 125 plants becomes a new medication. 1 in 100,000+ synthetic chemicals becomes a new medication.

      You can easily see from the above facts that preserving the rainforest in countries around the world is of extreme importance. In May of 96, a team of 3 Canadian herpetologists, and one Russian herpetologist went to Vietnam as part of the Vietnam Biodiversity project at the Royal Ontario Museum. The team was lead by Dr. Bob. Murphy.

      This team is working with the Vietnamese government to educated them about the variety of species within their country, and to help them create legislation to protect the various species found there. Vietnam is part of C.I.T.E.S, but in name only. The country has no legislation in place to protect the various species from commercial trade, over collection (this could be very important as far as Physignathus (water dragons) are concerned) ... Other countries are trying very hard to help them develop legislation before it is too late.

      As for the amphibian and reptilian species.... There are over 82 amphibian species in Vietnam, many of them newly discovered species. The researchers were discovering 6 to 8 new species of amphibian per site that they visited last year. They have also discovered many new species of lizards and snakes. I'm not sure how many new reptilian species have been discovered in the last year.

      In light of what you have read above and what you will read below..

      Water dragons are also imported from Cambodia, Thailand and perhaps south China.. The economy and conditions in Cambodia are similar to that of Vietnam, Thailand may be slightly better off, and I presume that of all 4 countries the South of China is probably in the best economic condition. Considering that there is high poverty, de-forestation, and likely over gathering of native species in these countries water dragons for one, may (hopefully) become a protected species in the future. It seems that water dragons can still be found in high numbers, but if conditions remain as they are then Physignathus and many many other species and flora will need to be protected by adequate legislation soon.

Water Dragon Books

Green Water Dragons, Sailfin Lizards and Basilisks (General Care and Maintenance of Series) by Philippe De Vosjoli

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      Basic but detailed information about the care, diet, and health of green water dragons, sailfin lizards and basilisks.

Anoles, Basilisks, and Water Dragons Anoles, Basilisks and Water Dragons : A Complete Pet Care Manual (More Complete Pet Owner's Manuals) by Richard D. Bartlett, Patricia P. Bartlett (Contributor)

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     Discussion of the general care of many species of anole, basilisks and water dragons. Excellent information regarding enclosures, cage building, and insect care and breeding.

Eat this Bug Eat This Bug : A Guide to Invertebrate Live Foods for Reptiles and Amphibians by Lynn Davis

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      This book is a guide for owners of reptiles and amphibians who feed insects and other live foods to their pets. Advice is offered for selecting , ordering and raising your own supply of live invertebrate foods. More than a dozen species of live foods are discussed. The book includes instructions on keeping cultures of insects, and recipes & diets for insects.

Last updated
Mar, 19, 2010

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