Duane Silverstein: November 2010 Archives
There are many beautiful bays in the world. However, if one is searching for the most picturesque and most breathtaking bay of them all, Ha Long Bay, off the north coast of Vietnam, would be a good place to start. Its 60 square miles are home to 1,960 limestone islets of various shapes and sizes. In Vietnamese, Ha Long translates to "descending dragon" in honor of the creation legend surrounding this bay. Once you experience the beauty of this place you will understand why the original dragon decided to stay here rather than visit other parts of the globe.
Above, Ha Long Bay, Vietnam.Seacology has supported several related projects to help save one of the world's most endangered primates, the Cat Ba Langur. This relative of the monkey is found only on Cat Ba Island in Ha Long Bay. In the 1960s, there were thousands of these beautiful creatures living on Cat Ba. However, they began being poached for monkey bone paste for the Chinese "medicinal" market. The hunting was so effective that 10 years ago the population was down to a mere 50. The Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Population discovered that the langur poachers were making about $60 per month. They asked Seacology to support a langur guardian program whereby they would pay the poachers $70 a month to guard the langurs from poaching. Seacology's response was an emphatic yes. The project was so successful that Seacology made a second grant to enable the Zoological Society to purchase a much needed boat for the langur rangers and communication equipment so they could quickly be in touch when poachers were spotted. More recently the Zoological Society asked Seacology for funding to relocate three isolated female langurs who were trapped on an offshore island to the main island of Cat Ba so they could breed with male langurs.