“Today is a day I have often thought would never come.” Said Lorraina Scotson
Absolutely over the moon to announce the launch of a new organization – the Saola Foundation for Annamite Mountains Conservation. Dedicated to helping to save the rare and enigmatic Saola from extinction in the wild.
Saola are one of the most beautiful and unusual creatures out there – a shy tropical bovid, closest relatives are wild cattle, yet antelope -like in appearance. Saola have been tip-toeing around the forests of the Annamite Mountains, bordering Lao PDR and Vietnam, for millions of years unchanged.
Only discovered to science in the early 1990’s, Saola are on the verge of extinction – fewer than 100 thought to remain in the wild. None held in captivity. In 2018, i started working with the fantastic IUCN Saola Working Group (SWG), who have lead the development of the IUCN One Plan Approach for saving Saola, raising political support and global awareness, beginning field searches for wild Saola and making preparations for establishing a conservation breeding program.
Over the past year, it has been an honor to work with a small team of dedicated Saola conservationists to establish this new organization, which will add to the efforts of the SWG.
Driven by a gut instinct that there is a unique and critical role to fill in the world of Saola conservation. We will do so with two initial priorities;i) help to raise the substantial funds required to support the IUCN One Plan to save Saola from extinction, andii) mobilize an intensive search effort in Lao PDR, to determine if Saola can be found in such a way that enables conservation breeding.
No small task!! I am well aware! The recent success of our seed funding campaign is amble demonstration that so many of you out there hold firm belief that there is still time to save Saola. Achieving our goals is going to take a monumental effort – fundraising and field implementation at a scale and intensity unlike anything that has gone before.
We have a huge task ahead of us – and it starts now!Learn more about the amazing Saola, consider supporting our cause, and help us to spread the word: