Scientists to set up sanctuary in Dong Chau – Khe Nuoc Trong forest

VietNamNet Bridge - Khe Nuoc Trong, which covers about 20,000 ha of lowland forest, is part of a large stretch of forest (82,700 ha) in Quang Binh and Quang Tri provinces. The lowland broadleaf forest is the habitat of many rare endemic species.


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        The lowland broadleaf forest is the habitat of many rare endemic species




The Dong Chau-Khe Nuoc Trong forest is located in a special geographical position which is the beginning of two river valleys of Kien Giang in the east and Long Dai in the west. With special geographical conditions, it is one of the rare locations in Vietnam which have original biodiversity. 

In 2012, MARD agreed on the establishment of a natural reserve there to protect the lowland forest ecosystem. However, due to many reasons, the natural reserve has not been set up.

Of the endemic species, scientists are paying special attention to ga loi lam mao trang (Lophura edwardsi) which is critically endangered. The birds can be found only in the central region’s lowland, from Nghe An to Thua Thien-Hue provinces. 

Another four species have also been discovered recently, including sao la (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis), mang lon (Muntiacus vuquangensis), mang Truong Son (Muntiacus truongsonensis) and tho van (Nesolagus timminsi).

There are also many other species in danger, including Java pangolin, white-cheeked gibbons and red shanked douc, aswell as 51 plant species named in the world’s and Vietnam’s Red Books.

Hundreds of white-cheeked gibbons (Nomascus siki) have been found in the Dong Chau- Khe Nuoc Trong forest, the largest number of this species recorded in the forest in the central region.

Hundreds of white-cheeked gibbons (Nomascus siki) have been found in the Dong Chau- Khe Nuoc Trong forest, the largest number of this species recorded in the forest in the central region.

The forest in Khe Nuoc Trong has a very large vegetation cover. Despite the devastation, 40 percent of forested area is still intact. 

However, scientists have expressed concern about threats to forests and biodiversity. These include wood exploitation, wildlife hunting, forest appropriation and forest clearance to make room for production activities. 

The wildlife has been affected by locals’ activities, such as searching for aloe wood and honey, and fishing with explosives.

According to the head of the Quang Binh Forest Rangers’ Unit Pham Hong Thai, in order to protect the original biodiversity value of Khe Nuoc Trong and retain it as a standard sample of the central region’s lowland area, it is necessary to implement the plan on managing, protecting and preserving biodiversity and strengthen capability of the Dong Chau protective forest board of management.

The Quang Binh provincial authorities are now seeking funding to help locals who live near the forest and earn their living on the forest resources to have new livelihoods, and seeking resources for the preservation program in order to turn Khe Nuoc Trong into a sanctuary.


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Thien Nhien

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