News of the WeekEcology

Last Chance to Save the 'Panda of Indochina'

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Science  04 Sep 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5945, pp. 1192-1193
DOI: 10.1126/science.325_1192a

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At an emergency meeting in Vientiane last month, researchers hammered out a set of measures that, if implemented within the next year, could give the saola, a rare ungulate no scientist has ever glimpsed in the wild, a shot at survival. These include intensified removal of poachers' snares and efforts to shed light on the mysterious beast's biology. A central challenge is to elevate saola in the public consciousness—both on the animal's home turf in Laos and Vietnam and in the minds of donors, as funding for saola conservation is almost nil.