Protection for species treasure trove

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With support from IUCN NL, Vietnam’s Centre for Biodiversity and Development (CBD) has made a record of the enormous wealth of species which live in the Ta Kou reserve. The evidence collected by CBD makes it plain just how extraordinary the park is. Ta Kou’s biodiversity is so great that the reserve has been nominated for national park status.

Header photo: Forest inventory © CBD

Problem

The Ta Kou reserve is on Vietnam’s south coast where tourism is becoming increasingly important. Tourist numbers have led to an expansion of road and housing construction around the reserve’s borders. Parts of the reserve have even been lost as a result. Improved formal protection is necessary to prevent the economic development adversely affecting the reserve even further.

Approach

The Vietnamese CBD made a detailed and comprehensive record of the park’s biodiversity to make the case that Ta Kou should be protected. The research organization’s work was carried out with support from IUCN NL. The CBD investigated precisely which rare plant and animal species were present in the reserve. Educational groups were organized for schools and films and brochures were produced by CBD to make local authorities and residents aware of the importance of the reserve. It also provided training to park staff and local communities to help them protect the park more effectively.

Result

The inventory of biodiversity in Ta Kou demonstrated that the reserve is home to a treasure trove of species. More than 1,000 plant species, 150 bird species, 63 mammal species and over 100 butterfly species were recorded. Over 60 of these species are endangered. A totally new and beneficial plant species was even discovered in 2013. This proves that the reserve is home to extraordinary biodiversity and should be properly protected. It is now getting this protection: local government is taking the implementation of concrete protection measures increasingly seriously. Local communities are closely involved in drawing up these measures and putting them into practice. The provincial government has also recognised the reserve’s exceptional importance and has launched a process to raise its protection status. This has already resulted in Ta Kou being nominated for national park status.

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Maartje Hilterman

Project Leader – Forests for a Just Future

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