CA MAU — The population of large flying foxes (Pteropus vampyrus) living in the southern Ca Mau Province is facing depletion in its numbers.
The provincial Forest Protection Department has found that there are only about 2,000 large flying foxes in Ca Mau now, which is about one-tenth of the population in 2006.
The department said that the species is being threatened by habitat loss, illegal hunting and the effects of strong storms.
The local residents cut down trees on which the large flying foxes live, to make land available for agricultural purposes, destroying the habitat of the species, the department said.
It added that illegal hunting of the animal has increased because traders pay between VND150,000 and VND200,000 (US$7 to $10) for a large flying fox.
The provincial People’s Committee has ordered the authorised agencies to seek financial support from international organisations for wildlife conservation to save the large flying fox.
In the short term, the agencies will fine people who hunt the species illegally, while the local media is broadcasting messages requesting the people to join hands in protecting the animal.