SPECIES-  Saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis)

CURRENT RANGE-  Vietnam/Laos border

CURRENT THREAT-  Poachers

CONSERVATION STATUS-  Critically Endangered

WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM- Quang Nam Saola Nature Reserve

 

WHAT IS IT?

This rarely seen animal goes by a host of names: Saola, Vu Quang ox and Asian unicorn. The latter has a double meaning: Yes, the forest dweller has a beautiful set of horns atop its white spot-speckled head. However, the prized mammal is seen so infrequently by humans that it now feels like something out of a child’s fairytale. Just about everything surrounding the Asian unicorn, which wasn’t even discovered until 1992, has stumped wildlife experts. They do know the mammal is more closely related to a wild cow than an antelope. Sadly, they’re also confident that the elusive creature’s numbers only range somewhere between a couple dozen and 200.

 

 

WHY ARE THEY ENDANGERED?

It doesn’t appear that hunters in Southeast Asia are hunting saola for food or sale on any underground markets. According to researchers, the animal is being caught as a bycatch—like the gruesome scenario still plaguing tuna and dolphin. One would think that a few of these Asian unicorns mistakenly captured would end up in captivity somewhere, but even in those amazingly rare instances when one has been seized, it has died abruptly. Scientists insist it’s the stress of the capture that kills them.

 

WHAT’S BEING DONE TO SAVE THEM?

Feeling that the evasive bovine’s very existence is in peril, the animal community has taken its rescue efforts into high gear. In 2011 the Quang Nam Saola Nature Reserve was declared on the Vietnam-Laos border. The World Wildlife Fund has the Asian unicorn on its exclusive “priority species” list. Groups like the UK Government’s Darwin Initiative and Wildlife Conservation Society Lao are trying to educate Asian communities about the animal and conduct field studies to identify areas that would best support the mammal’s population. The Saola Working Group is a dedicated organization raising money and awareness for all of these initiatives and many more. Here’s hoping their combined efforts can ensure the species’ survival.  –DeMarco Williams

7 Responses to ENDANGERED SPECIES SPOTLIGHT- Saola (a.k.a. Asian Unicorn)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge

Co-Founded by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett, Green Global Travel is an ecotourism, nature / wildlife conservation & cultural preservation magazine. More about us.

HAVE YOU VOTED TODAY?

Green Global Travel has been nominated for the Best Couples Travel Bloggers by USA Today! PLEASE click on the blue image below to vote for us! You can vote up to once per day through Aug 6, and no personal info is required.

Help Support Green Global Travel!

Each time you make a purchase on Amazon.com using the link below,we'll earn a small percentage, at no extra cost to you.


Amazon

www.amazon.com

Thanks for your support! - Bret & Mary

Follow Us

Proud members of: The International Ecotourism SocietyCheck out our other sites!
Green Travel Reviews
  EcoAdventure Media

Destinations We’ve Covered:

• AFRICA
Egypt- Top 5 Eco Attractions
South Africa- Londolozi Game Reserve Safari
South Africa- Kruger National Park
South Africa- South Africa- Zulu Memories
Tanzania- Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

 
• ANTARCTICA
How To Get To Antarctica Without Doing the Drake
The Haunting Beauty of Icebergs
Penguins of Antarctica
Taking the Polar Plunge
Top 5 Eco Attractions in Antarctica
Whales of Antarctica
 
• ASIA
India- Ranthambhore National Park
Laos- The Pastoral Paradise of Muang Ngoi
Malaysia- Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre
Nepal- Hiking The Annapurna Circuit
Taiwan- Top 5 Eco Activities in Taipei
Thailand- Top 5 National Parks
 
• AUSTRALIA/OCEANIA
Australia- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Australia-Kangaroo Island
New Zealand- Kapiti Island
New Zealand- Tongariro National Park
New Zealand- Top 5 Ecotourism Attractions
Tahiti- First Impressions
Tahiti- Moorea 4x4 Safari Tour
Tahiti- Moorea, Tiki Village Theater
Tahiti- Pearl Diving in Bora Bora
Tahiti- Ruahatu Marine Sanctuary, Bora Bora
Tonga- Eua Island Eco Activities

 

• NORTH AMERICA
CANADA
Churchill- Into the Wild of Manitoba
Churchill- Polar Bear Fight
Churchill- Polar Bear Photo Gallery
Churchill- Tundra Wildlife

UNITED STATES
America’s Best Volcanoes
AK- Denali National Park
FL- Sanibel Island Eco Activities
FL- Crystal River, Swimming with Manatees
GA- Barnsley Gardens
GA- Top 5 Autumn Activities Around Atlanta
GA- Best Christmas Light Displays
GA- Top 20 Atlanta Christmas Events
GA- Jekyll Island Eco Activities
GA- Weekend in North GA Mountains
GA- Top 5 Eco Attractions in North GA
HI- Hawaii’s Big Island
HI- Hawaiian Mythology
MT- Hiking Glacier National Park
NC- Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
NC- Asheville's Green Restaurants Scene
NC- Greensboro Travel Guide
NC- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
NC- Outer Banks Wild Horses
NM- Top 5 Eco Attractions
NY- Going Green in NYC
WV- Outdoor Adventures
Yellowstone- Mammoth Hot Springs
Yellowstone- Lamar Valley
Yellowstone- Grand Canyon & Hayden Valley
Yellowstone- Upper Geyser Basin
Yellowstone- Lower Geyser Basin

MEXICO
Cancun- Cancun Underwater Museum
Cancun- Mayan Museum of Archaeology
Riviera Maya- Monkeys, Pyramids & Pottery
Riviera Maya- Rio Secreto
Riviera Maya- Tulum & Coba
 
• CARIBBEAN