The National Park of Phong Nha – Ke Bang, which marks the 10 th year this year since it was recognised by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage site, has coordinated with numerous domestic and foreign scientists in biodiversity research and conservation over the past years.

Located in Bo Trach district of the central province of Quang Binh, the park comprises an area of 85,754 ha and contains terrestrial and aquatic habitats, primary and secondary forest, tropical forests and savanna, not to mention large, often spectacular and scientifically significant caves.

According to scientists, the site is home to a large number of faunal and floral species, including 2,651 vascular plant species, and 848 vertebrate and 396 invertebrate species. Among them, 116 plant and 129 animal species have been listed in the Red Book of Vietnam and the world.

Since the park’s establishment in 2001, 15 new species including 13 reptiles and 2 amphibians have been discovered here as a result of joint research between domestic and foreign scientists.

In particular, the park has coordinated with Cologne Zoo of Germany in conducting research on amphibian and reptile. Their joint efforts have results in the discovery of some new species of reptiles and a detailed list of 96 reptile species and 45 amphibian species at the park.

Scientists from Russia and the Vietnam National University, Hanoi also conducted a research programme on orchid species in the park, with a major discovery of a cacelodrus rupetris community, an endemic species to Vietnam made in 2005.

The park has built a 41-hectare botanical garden to preserve live samples of plants and endemic species in the park and adjacent areas.

Besides, a wildlife rescue centre has been established and is operating effectively with a successful rate of 90 percent of rescue efforts.

The board also intensified patrols to protect forests in the park by setting up 11 rangers’ stations in key zones.

As a result, biodiversity in the park is basically protected and almost all primeval forest areas are undamaged.

However, the management of and research into biodiversity still suffers from a shortage of staff and limited financial resources.

For this reason, experts called for the establishment of a unit specialised in biodiversity conservation research. At the same time, the park also needs to seek technical and financial assistance from domestic and foreign organisations in the field.-VNA