Photo courtesy of World Wildlife Fund

The saola, one of the rarest and most threatened mammals on the planet, was photographed for the first time in 15 years in Vietnam by a camera trap set by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), a MacArthur grantee. Known as the "Asian Unicorn" because it is rarely seen, the saola's rediscovery has prompted excitement among Southeast Asian conservationists who have been working for years on the recovery of the species. A cousin of cattle, but antelope-like in appearance, the saola was last seen in Laos in 1999. In the area where it was most recently photographed, the WWF and Vietnamese government had established a nature preserve and worked with local communities to remove snares and eliminate illegal hunting.

Conservation & Sustainable Development, Asia, Conservation