7 - Summary descriptions of selected protected areas
descriptions are provided of the following six parks and reserves.
Be National Park
(Thailandian Monsoon Forest)
5km from Cho Ra District Town, Cho Ra District, Cao Bang Province,
and a straight-line distance of 150km north-north-west of
Ha Noi. Approximately 2224'N, 10537'E
AND HISTORY OF ESTABLISHMENT
Established under Council of Ministers Decision 41-TTg, dated
24 January 1977.
Committee of Cho Ra District
400m to 893m
a freshwater lake, covering approximately 500ha, in an area
of limestone mountains. The lake is 8km long and up to 0.8km
wide. The depth generally varies from 17m to 23m with a maximum
of 29m. The surrounding limestone hills rise to peaks at 570m-893m
and a peak some 13km to the south-east rises to 1,546m. The
lake is connected to the Nang River by a channel; at high
water levels during the rainy season, the lake drains into
the river via this channel, while during the dry season, water
flows from the river into the lake. The famous Dau Dang series
of waterfalls, up to 45m high, and extending for about 10km,
is located in the hills to the north-west. There are also
numerous caves and grottos, the most notable being Phuong
Grotto (Scott, 1989) with vaults 30-40m high (Duc, 1985).
on the aquatic vegetation is available. The lake is surrounded
by tropical rain forest, some of which remains in good condition
100 species of birds and 30 species of mammal have been recorded,
including several that are rare or endemic. Pheasants of the
genus Lophura, green peafowl Pavo muticus (V), gibbons Nycticebus
sp. and Francois' leaf monkey Presbytis francoisi may still
be present. The fish fauna includes 17 native species, four
of which are of economic value (Scott, 1989).
township is located to the immediate south of the lake although
specific details on the population are not available.
AND VISITOR FACILITIES
is accessible by road from Ha Noi, the journey taking about
eight hours by road. The caves, waterfalls and lake are accessible
either by boat or foot (Le Dien Duc, 1985).
RESEARCH AND FACILITIES
faunal surveys have been carried out in the area (Scott, 1989).
is of considerable importance for the local communities as
it regulates water supply. It is set amidst spectacular mountain
scenery and has considerable potential for both national and
international tourism. It is also the only mountain lake in
the country and possesses a flora unique at national level.
According to Scott (1989) the area was declared a national
park in 1985, although this appears to be erroneous. The Ministry
of Forestry and the Natural Resources and Environment Centre
are currently working together on a management plan. The hunting
of animals and the cutting of trees is strictly forbidden.
Plans have already been made to develop the area for tourism,
which would enhance the income of local people (Scott, 1989).
serious threat is illegal hunting. Some protective measures
have already been taken but they are not as yet fully effective.
It is recommended that environmental education programmes
are promoted in the region in order to reduce the level of
poaching (Scott, 1989).
L.D. (1985). The forest preserve at Ba Be. In: Ministry
of Forestry, Forest preserves in Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City
. 40 pp.
D.A. (1989). A directory of Asian wetlands. IUCN, Gland,
Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. 1181 pp.
Cat Ba National
II (National Park)
Situated in Ha
Long Bay, about 30km east of Hai Phong City and Port, and
about 8km off the coast. 2042'-2054'N, 10654'-10709'E
DATE AND HISTORY
31 March 1986 under Council of Minister's Decision 79-CT.
27,700ha (Vo Quy,
pers. comm., 1988). According to Scott (1989) the park covers
26,300ha, comprising 17,300ha on the main island and 9,000ha
of the adjacent inshore waters.
Sea level to 331m
consists of one main island, covering 345sq.km, and 366 smaller
ones. There is a great diversity of landscapes and ecosystems,
including offshore coral reefs, sandy beaches, mangrove forest,
freshwater swamp forest, small freshwater lakes and forested
hills. The scenery is spectacular in the karst limestone areas
on the main island where there are numerous waterfalls, caves
and grottos. The principal streams on the island are the Thung
Luong, Treo Com, Hoi Trung Trang and Viet Hai. Most streams
are seasonal, flowing only after tropical storms, but some
of the streams in the higher valleys are perennial or almost
so. Most of the rain water flows into caves and grottos, and
follows underground streams to the sea. There is, therefore,
often an acute shortage of water during the dry season. There
are several small lakes and ponds in the hills, the largest
of which is Ech Lake, a permanent waterbody with an area of
3ha and a depth of about 50m. Much of the main island is between
50m and 200m above sea level; the highest peaks rise to 331m
(Cao Vong) and 302m (Hien Hoa) and only 10% of the island
is below 50m in elevation. However, some places in the interior
of the main island, such as Ang Tom in Viet Hai Village, are
below sea level. The principal beaches are at Cai Vieng, Hong
Xoai Lon and Hon Xoai Be. The tidal range is 3.3-3.9m, exceptionally
4.0m. The salinity of the surrounding waters fluctuates seasonally,
ranging from 31.11 ppt in the dry season to 9.30 ppt in the
wet season (Scott, 1989).
with pronounced wet and dry seasons. Mean annual rainfall
is 1,700mm to 1,800mm, mean annual temperature at sea level
is 25C to 28C and mean annual relative humidity is 85%. The
rainy season lasts from May to September, the heaviest rainfall
occurring in July and August. There is often some drizzle
during January, February and March. The average temperature
during the wet season is 30C, the prevailing wind is south-easterly,
and typhoons and tropical storms are frequent. The dry or
cold season lasts from November to March. The temperature
normally varies between 16C and 19C, although it occasionally
drops below 10C (Scott, 1989).
There are three
main types of vegetation in the archipelago: tropical evergreen
forest on the hills, freshwater swamp forest at the foot of
the hills and coastal mangrove forest. The hill forest includes
species such as Spondias lakonensis, Milius flipes, Indospermum
sp., Pometia pinnata, Euphorbia sp., Carralli lancaefolia
and Dimerocarpus brenieri, with trees up to 20-30m in height.
Species of Urticacaea and Orchidaceae are dominant in the
lowest strata of the forest. On mountain summits, the vegetation
is drought resistant and stunted due to strong winds, the
height not exceeding 5m. In some places Sasa japonica is dominant.
Common species in the swamp and foothill forest include Dracontomelum
duperreanum, Aglaia gigantea, Duabanga sonneratioides, Lagerstroemia
balansea, Pterospermum sp., Cinnamomum spp., Caryodaphnopsis
tonkinensis and Peltaphorum tonkinensis. These species, which
grow to heights of up to 20m, dominate the upper strata of
the forest. A lower strata with trees up to 12m in height
includes Engelhardtia spicata, Gironniera subaequalis and
Garcinia sp., while a third stratum, up to 8m high, includes
Alphonsea spp. and Ardisia tonkinensis. The main island has
over 2,300ha of mangrove forest comprising Rhizophora mucronata,
Bruguiera gymnorhiza, Kandelia candel and Aegiceras mafus.
The trees, however, only attain 2-3m in height because of
the cold winters, low concentration of silt and over-exploitation
(Scott, 1989). A preliminary survey found 118 timber species
and 160 species of medicinal plants (R.M. Lesaca, pers. comm.,
1984) and in total 620 species of plants have been recorded
in the archipelago (Scott, 1989). The island once had large
tracts of primary forest with hardwood trees such as Podocarpus
wallichianus, Tarrietia cochinchinensis and Dalbergia sp.
However, there is currently very little forest cover remaining
and all of it has been disturbed (J. MacKinnon, pers. comm.,
The fauna has not
been studied in detail but the island does not appear to support
the large mammals or carnivores found on the mainland. However,
preliminary surveys have revealed that the fauna is distinctive
with unique elements adapted to island conditions. One such
endemic is a subspecies of Francois' monkey Presbytis francoisi
poliocephalus. Other mammals known to occur include leopard
Panthera pardus (T), leopard cat Felis bengalensis, rhesus
macaque Macaca mulatta, pigtail macaque M. nemestrina, bear
macaque M. arctoides, mainland serow Capricornis sumatrensis,
sambar Cervus unicolor, Indian muntjak Muntiacus muntjak,
European otter Lutra lutra (V), large Indian civet Viverra
zibetha, small Indian civet Viverricula malaccensis, black
giant squirrel Ratufa bicolor, belly-banded squirrel Callosciurus
erythraeus, Swinhoe's striped squirrel Tamiops swinhoe, three
species of rat Rattus, bamboo rat Rhizomys sumatrensis, crested
porcupine Hystrix hodgsoni, Asiatic brush-tailed porcupine
Atherurus macrourus and Horsfield's leaf-nose bat Hipposideros
larvatus (four subspecies) (Scott, 1989).
The islands lie
on a main migration route for many species of waterfowl. The
beaches and mangrove forests provide feeding and roosting
sites for a large number of birds during the migration season,
including several species of ducks, geese and shorebirds.
Resident and migrant species include little grebe Tachybaptus
ruficollis, common cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo, spotbill
duck Anas poecilorhyncha, white-breasted water-hen Amaurornis
phoenicurus, water cock Gallicrex cinera and pheasant-tailed
jacana Hydrophasianus chirugus. Forest birds include Oriental
pied hornbill Anthracoceros albirostris, a very rare species
for northern Viet Nam. Reptiles include Gecko gecko, Python
sp., Embrystoma sp and hawksbill turtle Eretmocheyls imbricata
(E) (Scott, 1989). More than 100 bird species have been recorded
(Vo Quy, pers. comm., 1988). Some 200 species of fish, 500
molluscs and 400 species of arthropods have been recorded
containing traces of humans have been located on the main
island. Stone tools and bones found at the sites indicate
that primitive man was living in the caves and grottos on
the island between 6,000 and 7,000 years ago. Cai Beo Cave,
about 1.5km south-east of Cat Ba Town has been studied the
most intensively and cave was first discovered by a French
archaeologist in 1938 (Scott, 1989).
people have migrated recently from nearby coastal provinces
and mainly live in the south of the island. In 1983, the population
of the main island was 7,751, and several villages are included
in the park. The principal means of livelihood are forest
exploitation, agriculture and fishing. Agricultural crops
include rice, although this continues to be imported from
the mainland, cassava and fruit such as orange, apple and
lychee. About 350 tonnes of fish were landed in 1983 (R.M.
Lesaca, pers. comm., 1984; Scott, 1989).
Access is by boat
which takes about 3.5 hours (Scott, 1989). No further information
have conducted preliminary surveys of flora and fauna (R.M.
Lesaca, pers. comm., 1984). One small island is used for breeding
turtles and another for breeding rhesus monkeys (J. MacKinnon,
pers. comm., 1987). The National Institute of Archaeology
surveyed Cai Beo Cave some years after its discovery in 1938
and in 1983 the National Institute of Historical Museums and
the Historical Museum of Hai Phong continued the research
The forests on
the island are particularly valued for maintaining the water
regime. They also contain important genetic resources and
support the food chain of economically important aquatic animals
such as fish, shrimp, bivalves and arthropods. The forests
are also an important source of pit props for the mining areas
in neighbouring Quang Ninh Province. The fishery is important
not only for the local people but also for the inhabitants
of the adjacent mainland (Scott, 1989). Although much of the
island is gazetted as a national park, agricultural activities
and forest clearance are both tolerated and actively encouraged
by local authorities who envisage expanded production. However,
it is not clear to what extent these activities take place
within the park itself. A road from the south to the north
of the island is under construction and a ferry service to
Hai Phong is being implemented (R.M. Lesaca, pers. comm.,
1984). A management plan prepared by the Ministry of Forestry
was not accepted by local government. A plan for development
by local government was not accepted by the Ministry of Forestry.
A new management plan was due to be prepared (J. MacKinnon,
pers. comm., 1987). The current objectives of the park, as
outlined by Scott (1989) are: to preserve natural ecosystems
and genetic resources; to restore the native flora and fauna
through replanting, re-introduction and habitat improvement;
to promote outdoor recreation and environmental education
for the general public in collaboration with the tourist industry;
and to promote scientific research relevant to the management
of the park.
over-exploitation of forest resources for firewood and construction
timber, and the demand for grazing land for domestic animals
have resulted in widespread deforestation and the destruction
of natural vegetation. This in turn has had a detrimental
effect on fish production and water supply. In 1989 the park
authorities were promoting rural planning in order to overcome
these problems (Scott, 1989).
The total budget
of the island in 1983 was approximately US$4-5 million, with
about US$100,000 being spent on reafforestation.
(1983). Report on a visit to Hanoi. Programme of Natural
Resources and Environmental Research and Protection. Bogor.
(Ed.) (1989). A Directory of Asian wetlands. IUCN, Gland,
Switzerland, and Cambridge, UK. 1,181 pp.
May 1987, reviewed
Cuc Phuong National
II (National Park)
Located in the
foothills of the northern Annamite Mountains, some 100km south-west
of Hanoi. The park comprises parts of Ha Nam Ninh, Ha Son
Binh and Thanh Hoa provinces. Approximately 2019'N, 10522'E
DATE AND HISTORY
2 July 1962. Cuc
Phuong was declared a Forest Reserve in 1960 and was later
upgraded to become the first Vietnamese national park (Trung,
The park comprises
a broad flat valley, between two ranges consisting of limestone
hills and cliffs. The valley is wide at the western end but
narrows to a canyon in the east. To the south and west the
park is surrounded by lower, relatively flat and densely populated
land. To the north-west, however, the park is bordered by
other forested limestone hills leading to the main mountain
ranges. The mountains in the area are mostly limestone of
the Triassic period, and large underground river and cave
systems are found. Hang Dang Cave measures 3-4m in height
and over 30m in width at its mouth (Pfeiffer, 1984). Sub-soils
comprise Triassic schist layers overlaid with limey premium-ouralian
secondary soils showing some signs of recent upheaval and
intermixing. Ferralitic deposits impart a reddish colour.
Top soils are partly red calcareous, with rendzina and sequential
black soils on ridges. Forest soils are generally very shallow
and show very fast turnover (MacKinnon, n.d.). The ground
rock absorbs all surface water and there is no river draining
the valley (Pfeiffer, 1984). There are, however, a number
of seasonal water courses (MacKinnon, n.d.).
The climate can
be classed as seasonal moist sub-tropical. The mean annual
temperature is 21C, with a mean winter temperature of 9C.
Maximum and minimum temperatures are 35C and 0.5C, respectively,
and frosts probably occur at higher levels. The topography
of the park exaggerates both hot and cold temperature extremes.
Mean annual rainfall is 2,100mm, with a maximum of 3,300mm
recorded in 1963. On average rain falls on 224 days each year.
The dry season is November to February, with less than 100mm
rainfall in December and January being typical (MacKinnon,
n.d.; Pfeiffer, 1984).
The primary vegetation
of the park is remarkably luxuriant for such a latitude and
seasonal climate. Although classified as lowland and sub-montane
seasonal evergreen sub-tropical forest, the flatter parts
of the valley support a more typical lowland rain forest with
a multi-layered canopy, large boled trees up to 70m high,
a high incidence of epiphytic ferns and orchids, an abundance
of lianes and a high frequency of cauliflory. Such luxuriance
is due to the sheltered aspect, high soil fertility and retention
of high humidity in the valley. The forest on the karst crests
is more specialised, less tall, less luxuriant and more similar
to the forests on neighbouring limestone hills. The highest
emergent layer attains 40-50m and is characterised by the
dipterocarp Parashorea stellata, which may grow to as high
as 70m. The second and main layer comprises both semi-evergreen
and also a few deciduous species, depending on the degree
of shelter enjoyed. Deciduous Terminalia myriocarpa and Pometia
pinnata reach 25-30m. A dense canopy is formed by the sclerophyllous
evergreen member of the families Fagaceae, mostly Castanopsis
and Lithocarpus, Lauraceae such as Cinnamomum, Lindera and
Caryodaphnophis, Anacardiaceae such as Drocontomelum, Meliaceae
such as Aphanamixis, Aglaia and Chisocheton, Moraceae including
Artocarpus and many Ficus and Tiliaceae such as Kydia calicina.
The third layer at about 15m is made up mostly of Caesalpinaceae
trees. The fourth layer consists of smaller bushes and shrubs
mixed with saplings of the taller canopies. This layer is
dominated by Sterculiaceae and wild bananas (Musaceae). The
fifth layer or undergrowth is made up of herbs, comprising
members of Rubiaceae, Araceae, Commeliaceae, Urticaceae and
numerous ferns, reaching 2m in height. This whole complex
structure is integrated with numerous epiphytic ferns such
as Asplenium nidas and Drynaria coronatus, figs Ficus, semi-epiphytic
climbers, epiphytic orchids and climbing rattan palms, as
well as numerous mosses and liverworts. Cauliferous species
Ficus and Artocarpus, numerous buttressing species and others
showing permanent flowering and fruiting characteristics are
typical. The park also contains numerous species which have
practical uses such as spices, edible fruits, nuts, shoots,
spices and medicines (MacKinnon, n.d.). The only gymnosperm
found at higher altitudes is Podocarpus wallichianus (F. Ramade,
pers. comm., 1984). More than 2,000 vascular plants grow in
the park (J. MacKinnon, pers. comm., 1987) and several endangered
and endemic species are found (Trung, 1985).
lies in West Tonkin, one of the richest faunal regions of
Viet Nam, being well-endowed both in term of species diversity
and endemism or regional distinctiveness. The park may support
as many as 300 species of birds, 65 species of mammals, 37
species of reptiles and 16 species of amphibians. Primates
include macaques Macaca mulatta and M. arctoides, gibbon Hylobates
concolor (V), Francois' leaf monkey Presbytis francoisi and
Pygathrix nemoreus. The nocturnal slow loris Nycticebus coucang
also occurs. All primates are now very rare from over-hunting.
Carnivores include Asiatic black bear Selenarctos thibetanus
and wild dog Cuon alpinus (V), although both are probably
not resident, possibly tiger Panthera tigris (E) although
there are probably insufficient numbers of prey species to
maintain a resident population, leopard P. pardus (V), clouded
leopard Neofelis nebulosa and jungle cat F. bengalensis. Wild
boar Sus scrofa occur throughout the park. A large range of
smaller mammals is present, including numerous insectivores,
bats and rodents and of these the most conspicuous by night
are porcupine Hystrix sp. and flying squirrel Petaurista elegans.
By day the most conspicuous mammals are small striped squirrel
Tamiops, and more rarely black giant squirrel Ratufa bicolor
(MacKinnon, n.d.). Also present is an endemic sub-species
of belly-banded squirrel Callosciurus erythraeus cucphuongensis,
found only in the park, and an endemic sub-species of sub-terranic
cave fish (J. MacKinnon, pers. comm., 1987). Results from
surveys in April and July 1988 indicated that bar-backed partridge
Arborophila brunneopectus, scaly-breasted partridge A. chloropus
tonkinensis, silver pheasant Lophura nycthemera beaulieu,
red jungle fowl Gallus gallus and grey peacock-pheasant Polyplectron
bicalcaratum (subspecies probably ghigii) were all fairly
common (Eames et al., 1988). Other common species include
laughing thrushes Garrulax spp., red-vented barbet Magalaima
lagrandieri and green-eared barbet M. faiostricta, scimitar-billed
babblers Pomatoninus spp. and brown hawk owl Ninox scutulata.
Large flocks of scarlet minivet Pericrocotus flammeus occur
and lesser racket-tailed drongos Dicrurus remifer, racket-tailed
magpie Temnurus temnurus and magpies Cissa spp. and white-winged
blue magpie Urocissa whiteheadi are characteristic. Bar-bellied
pitta Pitta ellioti has been observed (Rozendaal, 1988). Northern
migrants such as thrushes, flycatchers, tits, finches, pipits
and many others are present during winter (MacKinnon, n.d.).