My name is Nguyen Thi Thanh Huyen, please call me Huyen. I was born in a small town in the North of Vietnam. I hold a bachelor of Environmental Science from VNU-University of Science. Currently, I am working as a field researcher at Save Vietnam’s Wildlife (SVW) – a non-profit organization that focuses on conserving wildlife in Vietnam, especially pangolins and small carnivores.
My conservation journey started from 2017 when I was a program officer at Education for Nature – Vietnam (ENV). At this position, I was trained to deal with local illegal wildlife trades and international wildlife trafficking networks. It was a stimulating experience when I could work as a detective: investigating and collecting evidences of violations to support law enforcement agencies on eradicating wildlife crimes in Vietnam and the world. Being a novice to conservation, my first job helped me grasp knowledge of wildlife, particularly vulnerable and endangered species, and their status on local and international wildlife markets. It also gave me opportunities to cooperate with international investigation agencies such as EIA and INTERPOL. In 2019, I made a move on my conservation adventure to become a field researcher at Save Vietnam’s Wildlife. Apart from working in the field, I was in charge of analysing data and writing reports. I took a lead at community surveys in our project of conserving Fishing Cats, Hairy-nosed Otters and Sunda Pangolins in peat swamp areas in the southern Vietnam. I also participated in implementing camera-trap and radio-tracking surveys focusing on Owston’s Civets and rescued Sunda Pangolins. Besides this, I was taught to use SMART – a useful spatial monitoring and reporting tool to support our Anti-poaching team on forest patrol and illegal wildlife crime investigation.
I was inspired by innovative tracking methods of Wildlife Drones while we were applying their techniques and drones to monitor our animals in the wild. Thus, I desire to have deeper knowledge and skills in wildlife conservation research to improve and develop research methods in my country. I found the course of WildCRU (with the introduction and huge support from my mentor Mr. Daniel Wilcox) totally fit with my desire. I hope that knowledge and experience gained from taking the course will be a strong base for my development in conservation.