Appendix 7 - Summary descriptions of selected protected areas
Summary descriptions are provided of the following six parks and reserves.
Ba Be National Park
II (National Park)
4.10.04 (Thailandian Monsoon Forest)
Approximately 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
DATE AND HISTORY OF ESTABLISHMENT
1977. Established under Council of Ministers Decision 41-TTg, dated 24 January 1977.
People's Committee of Cho Ra District
Approximately 400m to 893m
Includes 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).
No information on the aquatic vegetation is available. The lake is surrounded by tropical rain forest, some of which remains in good condition (Scott, 1989).
Approximately 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).
LOCAL HUMAN POPULATION
Ba Be township is located to the immediate south of the lake although specific details on the population are not available.
VISITORS AND VISITOR FACILITIES
Ba Be 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).
Some preliminary faunal surveys have been carried out in the area (Scott, 1989).
The lake 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).
The most 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).
Duc, L.D. (1985). The forest preserve at Ba Be. In: Ministry of Forestry, Forest preserves in Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City . 40 pp.
Scott, D.A. (1989). A directory of Asian wetlands. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. 1181 pp.
Cat Ba National Park
4.05.01 (Indochinese Rainforest)
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 OF ESTABLISHMENT
Established on 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
The archipelago 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).
Tropical monsoonal 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., 1987).
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 (Scott, 1989).
Seventeen sites 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).
b>LOCAL HUMAN POPULATION
Several thousand 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).
VISITORS AND VISITOR FACILITIES
Access is by boat which takes about 3.5 hours (Scott, 1989). No further information is available.
SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AND FACILITIES
Local scientists 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 (Scott, 1989).
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.
Shifting agriculture, 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.
MacKinnon, J. (1983). Report on a visit to Hanoi. Programme of Natural Resources and Environmental Research and Protection. Bogor. 8 pp.
Scott, D.A. (Ed.) (1989). A Directory of Asian wetlands. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, and Cambridge, UK. 1,181 pp.
May 1987, reviewed September 1989
Cuc Phuong National Park
II (National Park)
4.10.04 (Thailandian Monsoon Forest)
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 OF ESTABLISHMENT
2 July 1962. Cuc Phuong was declared a Forest Reserve in 1960 and was later upgraded to become the first Vietnamese national park (Trung, 1985).
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).
Cuc Phuong 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.).
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