Research on Trafficking of Endangered Primates in Central and Southern Laos | WWF

Research on Trafficking of Endangered Primates in Central and Southern Laos

Duration: 2 Months – September/October 2020

Background of consultancy assignment/ project:

Laos hosts remnant populations of several endangered primates, including six species of gibbons and at least five other endangered species such as red shanked douc, Lao langur (endemic to Laos), Indochinese grey langur, Indochinese black langur and Phayre’s langur. All of them threatened by illegal hunting by firearms for trade in bushmeat, trade in bones for traditional medicine, and trade in young primates to be sold as live “pets”. Some of these IWT is domestic (wild meat sales within Laos), some goes across the border to Viet Nam and Thailand (for “pet” trade).
Mapping out and interdicting the transportation, cross-border trafficking (both in and out to Viet Nam and Thailand) of endangered primates (for bushmeat, medicinal products and live pets) supply chain - from Phou Hin Poun and other central, southern Laos sites to illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) markets/pet shops/restaurants in Laos and across the borders in Viet Nam and Thailand will be critical to save these species. WWF Laos is looking for a qualified consultant to help map and research the trade routes, border crossings, identify the actors and modes of transport, and propose the best way to intercept them to fight the trade and protect the primates of Laos.
Main Activities:
This study will be conducted primarily in Khamouanne and Bolikhamxay provinces of Laos, focusing on the Phou-Hin-Phoun protected area (that still holds some endangered primates) as the main supply site and how the trade leads to urban centres and international borders. The scope of this work will be mapping the trade routes for specific primate species, providing an understanding of how the cross- border trafficking is conducted, identifying actors and modes of transport, and providing recommendations on the best way to disrupt the trafficking and stop the trade.

Outputs / Deliverable of Performance:

  • A complete research design that is approved by WWF;

  • Raw data documented and managed in a systematic way;

  • Map out retail trading locations (IWT markets), wet markets, wild meat restaurants, and wildlife ‘farms’ in central Laos connected to the primate trade, especially along the routes leading to border locations where wild meat, primate "pets" and IWT products of high value are being trafficked into Viet Nam and Thailand.

  • Map of trade routes,

  • A report detailing information on: transportation modes and actors of the primate meat, primate pets, parts and products flowing within central Laos and across the border to Viet Nam and Thailand; leverage points in the trafficking routes for conservation interventions; areas of further research identified for subsequent investigations and actions by law enforcement agencies; and recommendations for best way to interdict the trade.

Required profile:

  • Good understanding of primate species and the threats posed to their survival in central and southern Laos

  • Good knowledge of the area surrounding the Phou Hin Poun protected area, Khammouan and Bolikhamxay provinces, and the connections to national borders

  • Understanding of the illegal wildlife trade supply chain, including transnational crime.

  • Understanding of the bilateral cooperation agreement provision especially Laos-Viet Nam and Laos-Thailand

  • Understanding of law enforcement structures in Laos and at borders with Thailand and Viet Nam


Interested consultants should apply by sending a proposed research plan, cover letter and CV, in English language, to

Applicants are requested to mention the name of the position applied for in the email subject.           

Closing date: 4 September 2020

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