Announcing the launch of the Saola Foundation for Annamite Mountains Conservation
Lorraine Scotson, CEO & Bill Robichaud, President
We are excited to announce the launch of a new organization, the Saola Foundation for Annamite Mountains Conservation. The Saola Foundation is dedicated to helping to save one of the most enigmatic ASAP species, the Saola Pseudoryx nghetinhensis.
Saola are one of the most beautiful and unusual creatures in Asia – a shy tropical bovid, most closely related to wild cattle, yet antelope-like in appearance. Saola have been roaming the forests of the Annamite Mountains, bordering Lao PDR and Vietnam, for millions of years.
Discovered by western science only in the early 1990’s, Saola is now one of the world’s most endangered large terrestrial mammals. Fewer than 100 probably remain in the wild. None are held in captivity.
Since 2006, The Saola Working Group (SWG) of the IUCN SSC Asian Wild Cattle Specialist Group has led the development of the IUCN One Plan Approach for saving Saola, raised global awareness and support for Saola conservation, and begun implementation of the One Plan Approach.
A small team of dedicated Saola conservationists (including some members of the SWG) have recently acted to make additional contributions to the One Plan Approach by the establishment of the Saola Foundation. This new organisation (the only registered charity in the world focused on Saola conservation) plans to focus initially on two priorities:
- Help to raise the substantial funds required to successfully implement the Saola One Plan; and
- Mobilize an intensive search effort in Lao PDR, to find remaining Saolas in the wild – an essential first step in saving the species – to determine if Saola can be found in such a way that enables conservation breeding.
Saving Saola is no small task, especially with the added challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic. This is why we’re delighted that the Saola Foundation is an ASAP Partner. Saola needs all the help it can get, and joining this partnership of like-minded organisations will be valuable.
You can learn more about the Saola Foundation here:
Featured image credit: Bill Robichaud