In the 15 September issue, Science published the Report “Biological fabrication
of cellulose fibers with tailored properties” by F. Natalio et al. (1). After the
issue went to press, we became aware of
errors in the labeling and/or identification of the pigments used for the control
experiments detailed in figs. S1 and S2
of the supplementary materials. Science
is publishing this Editorial Expression
of Concern to alert our readers to this
information as we await full explanation
and clarification from the authors.
Published online 14 September 2017
Saving the saola
The saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis)—a
primitive wild cattle species (1) endemic
to the Annamite mountain range of
Edited by Jennifer Sills
within the range countries. The first
facility is currently being built in Vietnam
(10). The breeding center will be staffed
with hoofstock experts to ensure the survival and successful breeding of captured
saola. After a captive population has been
secured, the next challenge will be to
protect one or more areas from poaching—
only then can the species be reintroduced
into the wild. Other threatened Annamite
endemics will benefit from these protection efforts. Creating a place for saola to
flourish will require a substantial, well-funded, collaborative international effort,
in partnership with the governments of
Vietnam and Lao PDR.
Andrew Tilker,1,2 Barney Long,2
Thomas N.E. Gray,3 William Robichaud,4
Thinh Van Ngoc,5 Nguyen Vu Linh,6
Jeff Holland,7 Stephen Shurter,8 Pierre
Comizzoli,9 Patrick Thomas,10 Radoslaw
Ratajszczak,11 James Burton12
1Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research,
Berlin 10315, Germany. 2Global Wildlife
Conservation, Austin, TX 78767, USA. 3 Wildlife
Alliance, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. 4Saola Working
Group c/o Global Wildlife Conservation, Austin, TX
78767, USA. 5World Wildlife Fund–Vietnam, Hanoi,
Vietnam. 6Nature Department, Vietnam Forestry
Administration, Hanoi, Vietnam. 7Center for the
Conservation of Tropical Ungulates, Punta Gorda,
FL 33982, USA. 8 White Oak Conservation, Yulee, FL
32097, USA. 9Smithsonian Conservation Biology
Institute, National Zoological Park, Washington, DC
20008, USA. 10Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx
Zoo, New York, N Y 10460, USA. 11Zoo Wroclaw,
Wroclaw, Poland. 12IUCN SSC Asian Wild Cattle
Specialist Group, Austin, TX 78767, USA.
*Corresponding author. Email: email@example.com
1. A. Hassanin, E. J. P. Douzery, Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B
Biol. Sci. 266, 893 (1999).
2. V. V. Dung et al ., Nature 363, 443 (1993).
3. G. B. Schaller, A. Rabinowitz, Oryx 29, 107 (1995).
4. R. Stone,Science325, 1192 (2009).
5. Proceedings of the Fourth Biennial Meeting of the IUCN
Saola Working Group, Hanoi, Vietnam (4–7 November
6. T. N. E. Gray et al ., Science355, 255 (2017).
7. V. Nijman, Biodivers.Conserv.19, 1101 (2010).
8. A. Abramov et al . Nesolagus timminsi . The IUCN Red List
of Threatened Species (2008).
9. R.J.Timmins et al., Muntiacus vuquangensis.TheIUCN
Red List of Threatened Species (2016).
10. 2016 Annual Report of the IUCN Saola Working
Group. (2016); www.savethesaola.org/wp-content/
In their Editorial “Step up for quality
research” (11 August, p. 531), N. J. Schrag
and G. M. Purdy rightly recommend
greater involvement from universities to
ensure that their own research communities produce high-quality, reproducible
The recently discovered saola
(Pseudoryx nghetinhensis) is
at risk of extinction.
Vietnam and Lao People’s Democratic
Republic (PDR)—was first discovered in
1992 (2, 3). Twenty-five years later, it is
on the verge of extinction (4). Although
precise population estimates are not possible, the Saola Working Group, part of
the Asian Wild Cattle Specialist Group of
the IUCN Species Survival Commission,
estimated in 2015 that fewer than 100
saola survive (5).
The primary threat to saola is intensive, commercial snaring (6) to supply
the thriving wildlife trade in Indochina
(7). Because snares kill indiscriminately, nontarget species such as saola
are affected along with target species.
Other threatened endemic species in the
region, including the recently discovered large-antlered muntjac (Muntiacus
vuquangensis) and Annamite striped
rabbit (Nesolagus timminsi), also suffer
from snares (8, 9).
There has been little progress in either
Vietnam or Lao PDR to sufficiently reduce
snaring, and even if poaching could be
stopped, saola numbers are now too low
and fragmented to allow the species to
recover. To save saola from extinction, we
must rescue surviving individuals and provide a protected habitat for them. The last
saola must be found, caught and transferred to captive breeding facilities located