The project will provide continued funding for ongoing saola-focused law enforcement activities in Thua Thien Hue and Quang Nam Saola Reserves, Vietnam and the establishment, training, and operation of a forest guard team in eastern Xe Sap NPA, Laos. The project will add more than 3,000 patrolling days across the Saola conservation landscape. This will be implemented by SOS grantee, WWF Greater Mekong's Trans Boundary Carbon and Biodiversity (CarBi) Project.
Within each protected area, forest guards will patrol 16 days per month each in four teams of four people plus one Forest Protection Department ranger with powers of arrest. The main focus of patrols is the detection and removal of snares. This focused attention, according to the Saola Working Group of the IUCN/SSC Asian Wild Cattle Specialist Group, addresses the most urgent action required for the conservation of the species.
Each team conducts fan-type patrols of an area over a period of seven days that radiate out from a base-camp. Patrols traverse through the forest to investigate areas and to detect and remove snares and camps. All offenders detected within key saola areas will be warned on the first occasion, fined on the second infringement or arrested on the third occasion. This novel approach to law enforcement has paid dividends. Since December 2010 the WWF forest guard programme has removed more than 30,000 snares from the Saola conservation landscape in Vietnam.