Annamite Striped Rabbit

The Vietnamese and Laotian governments don’t maintain any conservation plans for the Annamite striped rabbit, but snare removal teams have removed more than 75,000 snares in 5 years.

As with other rare and threatened ground-dwelling Annamite endemic mammal species, the highest priority for Annamite striped rabbit is effective law enforcement to curtail the industrial-level snaring that occurs across the region, combined with efforts to reduce the demand for wildlife meat and products sold as medicines, the ultimate driver of snaring throughout the Annamites amongst the increasing middle classes in Viet Nam, Lao PDR, and further afield. Whether or not this rabbit is ever traded further afield does not affect the merit of this recommendation, as it is simply one species among a large general catch, driven by market demand in not just Lao PDR and Viet Nam.

The challenges to enacting effective protected area-based law enforcement are substantial: neither Viet Nam nor Lao PDR has a historical model upon which to base effective protected area management, and government support remains weak, involving laws and decrees that have, typically, little follow-up action. The Vietnamese and Laotian governments do not presently maintain any conservation plans for the Annamite striped rabbit.

Some success has been achieved by joint government- and NGO-led snare-removal teams operating in the Hue and Quang Nam SNRs in Viet Nam and in neighboring Xe Sap NPA in Lao PDR, operating under the direction of the WWF Carbon and Biodiversity (CarBi) project. Over a five-year period, these patrols have removed more than 75,000 snares from the SNRs and the eastern section of Xe Sap NPA.

Notable as these achievements are, the level of snaring in all three protected areas remains extremely high, with snaring intensity plausibly reaching thousands of snare-nights per square kilometer per year. Therefore, although this joint management model provides some hope for future protection for Annamite striped rabbit from intensive snaring in at least one forest block, considerable increase in effectiveness is needed before any part of this forest complex could be considered safe for the species or any other ground-dwelling Annamite endemic mammal.

Image | © Shane S. (Yodeldog), All Rights Reserved
Sources | (Gray, et al., 2017, 2018; Hoedl, 2012; Tilker, et al., 2019; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2021a)

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