As a glacial refugia, the forests covering the valleys and mountain tops of the Annamites acted as an evolutionary laboratory, creating a myriad of unique life forms and breathtaking landscapes.
One of the largest contiguous natural forest areas in continental Southeast Asia, the 10,858 km2 of core forest is home to rare and endemic species that are found nowhere else in the world. Although the Annamites were degraded during the last century — in the last 30 years, forest degradation has declined compared to other forested areas in the region. The central Annamite landscape is characterized by mature secondary forest and patches of primary wet evergreen forest.
Over 120,000 snares were removed from the Hue and Quang Nam Saola Reserves alone from 2011 to 2019. Most of the snaring is not done to provide food for subsistence, but to generate profit, with high value wildlife being sold for the luxury meat and traditional medicine markets. Also, snares kill and maim wildlife indiscriminately. Due to the thousands of snares set covering large areas in difficult terrain, many animals caught in the snares are never retrieved from the snares and eaten, or sold. In recent years, deforestation and logging have also led to the degradation of much of the remaining habitat, dealing another blow to the unique wildlife of the Annamites.
WWF works to tackle snaring and improve wildlife habitat in three protected areas in Viet Nam (Hue and Quang Nam Saola Nature Reserves and Bach Ma National Park) and in one protected area and adjacent forest in Laos (Xe Sap National Protected Area and the Palé watershed protection forest). Through the Carbon and Biodiversity (CarBi - phase 2) Project, WWF is:
- Surveying wildlife and improving their habitats
- Supporting locally employed forest guards to monitor biodiversity and disarm and remove snares
- Building capacity of provincial and national agencies in protected area management and monitoring
- Working with the local communities to sustainably manage natural resources in the forest landscape