With fewer than 50 animals in the wild, saola is possibly the most threatened mammal on the planet. Even though it was discovered in 1992, very little is known about it, as no biologist has ever seen it in the wild and there are only a handful of photos of it from camera traps – last one from 2013. To save the animal from extinction, the Saola Foundation for Annamite Mountains Conservation wants to lead an intensive search for the last saolas in order to capture them for a breeding program. William Robichaud, the president of the organization, talks about:
- Why saola was discovered so late
- Why saola is on the brink of extinction
- Why it is so hard to find saola
- Why captive breeding program is necessary for the survival of saola
- How saola search can benefit other endangered species
- What methods they want to use to find and capture saolas
- How to effectively protect nature in the Annamite Mountains
William Robichaud has been working on wildlife conservation in Laos and Vietnam for more than 25 years. In 2006, he co-founded the IUCN Saola Working Group, and served as its Coordinator until 2019. In 2015, the IUCN Species Survival Commission recognized Bill with its Harry Messel Award for Conservation Leadership, for his contributions to Saola conservation.
Illegal wildlife trade poses a huge threat to animals worldwide, but the battle is not lost. In this episode, Arthur Sniegon from Save Elephants talks about the solutions to elephant poaching – investigating the illegal market, better law enforcement, using detection dogs to prevent ivory and bushmeat smuggling.
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