Lung Ngoc Hoang Nature Reserve (also named Lam Truong Phuong Ninh) is located in Hau Giang Province, in Vietnam Mekong Delta region. This is an attractive ecotourism Site featured with green grassland, cajeput forest, and swamp. It is rich in marine species, water bird species, and grass sceneries that amaze visitors who want the green escape amid lush nature.
Scientific Information about Lung Ngoc Hoang Nature Reserve
- Lung Ngoc Hoang is located in Phung Hiep District, Hau Giang Province. Its map coordinate is 9°41′ – 9°45′ N, 105°39′ – 105°43′ E
- Its terrace belongs to the ecological agriculture zone of the Mekong Delta region filled with mixtures of canals.
- It has an area of 6.000 hectares.
- Prior to 2002, Lung Ngoc Hoang Nature Reserve in Hau Giang functioned as the production forest used to produce wood or timber and other forest products, which was managed by Phuong Ninh FPD ((Buckton et al. 1999).
- In 2002, according to the recommendation of Long An Provincial People’s Committee, Lung Ngoc Hoang was decreed as a Nature Reserve based on Decision No. 13/2002/QD-TTG of the Prime Minister dated 14 January 2002, including an area of 2.805 hectares. The investment project for this Site was prepared and approved by the MARD. The management board included 58 official members of staff and 17 contracted members.
- Lung Ngoc Hoang was included in the list of Special-use Forests to be established in 2010 prepared by the FPD of the MARD, as the 6.000-ha Nature Reserve (FPD, 2003). Note that this list has not been approved by the Government.
Biology and Conservation Topics in Lung Ngoc Hoang Hau Giang
Lung Ngoc Hoang Hau Giang has three major types of vegetation including cajeput forest, swamp, and grassland. Among these, the cajeput forest is dominant, and most of the areas are the cultivated cajeput forest which has high commercial value but low biological value. The remaining areas are the swamp and grassland. Around 1/3 of the land is used to plant sugarcane and rice. The large grassland is dominated by Eleocharis dulcis mixed with Cynodon dactylon and the secondary cajeput grass. There are 3 types of different grasslands in the area: (1) the Scleria poafearmis and the species of Poaceae family, (2) the Hymenachne acutigluma, and (3) the Phragmites vallatoria.
The aquatic plants in the canals mostly include Eichhornia crassipes, Pistia stratiotes, Salvinia cucullata, Ipomoea aquatica, Ludwidgia adscendens, Centrostachys aquatica, Azolla pinnata, Spirodela polyrrhiza, and Lemna aequinoxialis. Note that the water birds in Lung Ngoc Hoang are not diverse. There are no globally endangered species of birds found in this area. Some of the most notable kinds of birds include the Indian Metopidius indicus, Dupetor flavicollis, Rhipidura javanica, Nectarinia jugularis, and Zosterops palpebrosa (Buckton et al. 1999).
The commercial trade of cultivated cajeput forest is the major threat to the biodiversity and scenery in Lung Ngoc Hoang Nature Reserve Mekong Delta. Forest logging disturbs the bird communities in the area. The cultivation of cajeput on the grassland and swamp destroys the natural scenery. This activity causes birds to lose their shelters. Furthermore, there are reports that the locals use poison to trap the birds in order to protect the harvest.
Ecotourism in Lung Ngoc Hoang Nature Reserve
The Lung Ngoc Hoang Nature Reserve Vietnam offers boat trips that take visitors on the canals and around the cajuput landscapes. You can find a watching tower for the panorama of the Nature Reserve and for watching birds. Especially, the tourist site has the “Don Ca Tai Tu” programs in which the Southern artists sing and play their musical instruments – the typical “spiritual food” of the Vietnam Mekong Delta land. Sightseeing, photography, and nature-friendly pastimes are all great with ecotourism in Lung Ngoc Hoang.
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