Focus on Vietnam

The Primate Conservation Training Course in Vietnam

In partnership with Hanoi University of Science and the University of Colorado, Boulder, Conservation International has designed a three-week training course in primate conservation, presented once a year and hosted by the Hanoi University of Science.

The intensive course includes two weeks of theory and one week of field-based activities. The curriculum covers a wide range of topics including behaviour, ecology, anatomy, field methods, research design, data analysis and scientific writing. Various field trips are also included.

The course is open to all Vietnamese nationals, and is becoming well-known; in 2006, the course attracted over 150 applications for the 30 student slots. These were filled by lecturers, undergraduate and graduate students and NGO and governmental staff from across the country. All trainee expenses are covered by the program to allow the best applicants to attend, regardless of financial status.

Upon completion of the course, trainees can apply for small grants to conduct further primatological research. Conservation International provides technical assistance and mentoring of the trainees until their projects are completed, as well as free access to computers, internet and library resources in the Vietnam Primate Centre (VPC).

Currently there are 11 trainee projects underway addressing issues of conservation concern. These projects range from field surveys to find new populations of the critically endangered grey-shanked douc langur to the development of the country's first-ever identification guide for primate skulls, intended for use by law-enforcement personnel. These projects also include applied research on four of the country's critically endangered species.

Together this new generation of Vietnamese primatologists are gaining the skills and resources to conserve Vietnam’s primates. For more information, please contact Ben Rawson, Regional Wildlife Biologist with Conservation International's Indo-Burma Program, at b.rawson {at} or P.O. Box 1356, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.