Case study in Vietnam: The Ba Be / Na Hang Conservation Complex

vietnam

Overview
Located in north-east Viet Nam, comprises the landscape in and around Ba Be National Park and Na Hang Nature Reserve. The region is characterised by steep limestone hills, interspersed with non-limestone areas of more undulating topography. It supports a mosaic of land-use types, including fragmented primary forest patches, patches of secondary vegetation, and areas of permanent and shifting cultivation.Biodiversity surveys during PARC Project recorded 102 mammal species (including 51 bats), 327 bird species, 41 reptile species and 28 amphibian species. Thirty-four of these species are listed as nationally or globally threatened. Most significantly the conservation complex supports important populations of Tonkin Snub-nosed Monkey, Francois’ Langur, White-eared Night Heron, and Vietnamese Salamander. The main threats to biodiversity in the area come from habitat fragmentation, large-scale infrastructure development, illegal hunting, over-exploitation of non-timber forest products, and livestock grazing.

Ba Be National
Park The park in Bac Kan Province was established as a national park in 1992 with an area of 7,611 hectares. The dominant feature of the national park is the 500 ha Ba Be Lake, the largest natural freshwater mountain lake in Viet Nam and a popular tourist destination. The lake is surrounded by extensive forest on limestone mountains, giving the park a spectacular landscape. It hosts about 80 fish species, some of which are threatened. Other important biodiversity values of the national park include over 300 butterfly species and a small resident population of endangered Francois’ Langurs. There are 15 villages in the national park, with about 3000 residents of Tay, Dao and Mong ethnicity, many of whom depend upon the lake’s fisheries.

Na Hang Nature Reserve
In 1992, the globally critically endangered Tonkin Snub-nosed Monkey was rediscovered in Na Hang District. This species was previously believed to be extinct and the discovery prompted Na Hang’s designation as a 41,930 hectare nature reserve in 1994. Na Hang Nature Reserve is split by the Gam River into northern and southern sectors of roughly equal size, both holding populations of Tonkin Snub-nosed Monkeys and other endangered species. Hunting and habitat fragmentation continue to threaten these species with local extinction. The construction of a 120 metre high dam on the Gam River, that began in 2002, has led to habitat disturbance and other negative impacts to biodiversity. The reservoir that the dam will create will fragment the remaining forests of the reserve and effect habitat of the largest population of Tonkin Snub-nosed Monkeys.

Community management
There are two sites in the area that are notable for being among the first in Viet Nam to trial innovative forms of community management, such as including representatives of local people on the management board and as site rangers. The South Xuan Lac Species and Habitat Conservation Area is only 1,788 ha, but comprises an important extension of protected habitat for the Tonkin Snub-nosed Monkey. In addition, the first record of White-eared Night Heron in Viet Nam in over 25 years was recently made at the site and it also supports the Francois’ Langur. The Francois’ Langur “Tu Cang” Species and Habitat Conservation Area, supports the largest known population of Francois’ Langurs in Viet Nam. Tu Cang is the name of the species in the local Tay language. These primates inhabit the relatively undisturbed limestone forests of the site, which also supports communities of rare conifers and broadleaf trees. Official site gazettement occurred in early 2005.

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