Bu Gia Map National Park is located in Binh Phuoc Province, in southeastern Vietnam. This protected park is a green ecotourism site and safe home to the forest, birds, and mammals. Also, the place is known as the significant historical base during the wartime. The forest inside the Park helps avoid soil erosion and protect water in the head sectors of the Dong Nai River.
Scientific Information about Bu Gia Map National Park
- Bu Gia Map National Park is located in Bu Gia Map District, Binh Phuoc Province, which is around 210 km from Ho Chi Minh City. Its map coordinate is as follows: 12°08′ – 12°17′ N, 107°03′ – 107°14′ E
- Geographically, this Park belongs to the lowlands of Southern Vietnam. The west and the north of the Park are bordered with neighboring Cambodia. The east and the northeast are bordered with Dak Nong Province.
- Its maximum elevation is 700m. The main watercourses encompassed by the Park consist of Dak Huyt stream flowing along the Vietnam – Cambodia borders. Other streams are Dak Sa, Dak Ka, Dak K’me, etc.
- It has an area of 26.032 hectares.
- Bu Gia Map was included in the list of the Special-use Forest according to the Decision No. 194/CT dated August 09, 1986. Formerly, it was a Nature Reserve with an area of 16.000 hectares, aiming to preserve “Fabaceae and Lagerstroemia conservation forest, abundant birds and mammals” (Cao Van Sung 1995).
- In 1994, the investment project for this Site was initiated. And then, in 1995, the project was approved by the former Song Be Provincial People’s Committee (FPD 1998)
- In 2002, Bu Gia Map was made the National Park in pursuant to the Decision No. 170/2002/QĐ-TTg of the Prime Minister dated November 27, 2002. The Park had an entire area of 26.032 hectares, including the Strict Protection Zone of 18.100 hectares, Ecological Rehabilitation Zone of 7.832 hectares, and Administrative Service Subdivision of 100 hectares. Also, according to the Prime Minister’s Decision, the buffer zone of the National Park was 15.200 hectares, including 7.200 hectares in Binh Phuoc Province and 8.000 hectares in Dak Lak Province.
- In 2003, the management board of Bu Gia Map National Park Binh Phuoc was established. The board included 37 members of staff and 04 guard stations.
Biology and Conservation Topics in Bu Gia Map Binh Phuoc
Natural forest takes 21.476 hectares, approximately 96% of the National Park, which includes 388 hectares of rich forest, 2.798 hectares of medium forest, 1.692 hectares of poor forest, 5.064 hectares of mixed forest, and 11.434 hectares of bamboo forest. The non-forest area is 854 hectares, including bare land, shrub, water bodies, etc. There recorded 628 species of plants in the Park (Anon. 1997), and the globally endangered species could be Afzelia xylocarpa, Dalbergia cochinchinensis, and Shorea guiso. What’s more, from 1995 to 1997, scientists studied that Bu Gia Map Binh Phuoc was home to 437 species of animals, of which 59 was listed in Vietnam’s Red Book. The most notable species were Black-shanked Douc Pygathrix nemaeus, Yellow-cheeked Crested Gibbon Hylobates gabriellae, Tiger Panthera tigris, Asian Elephant Elephas maximus, and Gaur Bos gaurus (Walston et al. 2001).
The avifauna in this Park has not been studied much. However, there were at least one globally threatened species of bird recorded in this area which was Germain’s Peacock Pheasant Polyplectron germaini. Regardless of the little official information about the Bird Sanctuary in Bu Gia Map, this Park was still recognized as one of 63 most important bird protection areas in Vietnam.
About the conservation issues in this National Park, the major threats come from the activities of hunting, excessive deforestation, illegal logging, unstable cultivation customs, and even forest fire inside the Park. Amongst these threats, hunting and illegal logging are most serious. The valued timber such as Dalbergia sp. and Pterocarpus sp. are being illegally cut and stolen by the locals and the loggers. The wildlife crimes in Bu Gia Map Binh Phuoc demand the local administrators to improve their management power and capacity. The increasing local population in the buffer areas also stress the natural resources inside the Park. Matters of training, human resources, equipment, and funding need to be taken into consideration.
Some of the most practical management plans prepared since August 2003 by Birdlife International co-operated with the Management Board could be listed as follows:
- Preserve the biological system of the lowland evergreen forest.
- Limit the conflicts in using the land inside the protected area.
- Define the borders of the National Park.
- Control the illegal activities of hunting and trapping the animals.
- Manage the exploitation of forest products.
- Prevent the forest fire.
- Start the biological studies.
- Improve the qualifications of the staff.
- Equip the Management Board with sufficient equipment and infrastructure.
- Reinforce the relationship with local government and other legal executives.
- Organize educational programs to enhance locals’ environmental awareness.
- Encourage the local communities to attend activities of nature conservation.
Culture and Tourism in Bu Gia Map National Park
Around 4-hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City, Bu Gia Map National Park remains green, fresh, historical, and beautiful to attract tourists who love ecotourism and nature-friendly activities. Know that this Site has the historical values as it was a resistance base during the Second Indochina War. Also, it protects part of the watershed of the Dong Nai River.
More attractively, Bu Gia Map National Park in Binh Phuoc is ideal for ecotourism. The picturesque sightseeing spots are Hoa Mai pond, the orchid gardens, Dak Mai Waterfall, Luu Ly Waterfall, the bat caves, the historical remnants, etc. In general, the best time to discover Bu Gia Map is between November and April when it is the dry season and feasible for trekking. For tours in the National Park, you have to contact the Management Board in advance. They will arrange a tour guide who takes you around the Park and give valuable information. Trekking Bu Gia Map National Park, you cross the cool streams and primitive forest to enjoy the fresh, stress-free, and fascinating atmosphere.
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