Son Tra Nature Reserve is located in Da Nang City, the South Central Coast of Vietnam. This is a beautiful peninsula known for the enthralling landscape of islands and forest. Especially, the Site shelters the red-shanked doucs, ensuring the very attractive biodiversity. Ecotourism highlights in Son Tra are so abundant and captivating that keep attracting people to visit.
Scientific Information about Son Tra Nature Reserve
- The Nature Reserve is set on the peninsula in the northeast of Da Nang City. Its map coordinate is 160o6′ – 160o9′ N, 108o13′ – 108o21′ E
- The Son Tra Peninsula was formed by the sediment deposition phenomena, creating the “bridge” to connect the mainland with three islands. The peninsula is 13km long and 7km wide, and encompass the bay of Da Nang. The highest point of the region is 696m. The terrace has the shallow water, and the deepest point is only 10m (1km away from the mainland).
- Son Tra Nature Reserve has an area of 4.370 hectares.
- In pursuant to Decision No. 41/TTg of the Prime Minister dated 21 January 1977, Son Tra Peninsula was recognized as a Cultural-Historical Site, with an area of 4.000 hectares.
- In 1989, the investment project was prepared for this Site, with the proposed area of 4.439 hectares, including 2.595-ha strict protection area and 1.844-ha forest rehabilitation area (Anon. 1989). The project was approved by Quang Nam-Da Nang Provincial People’s Committee (old) on 12 September 1989, and by MARD (old) in 1992 (FPD, 1998). Then, the management board was established. To date, the board included 09 official members and 02 contracted members of staff (Da Nang City FPD, 2003).
- Son Tra was addressed in the list of Special-use Forest to be established in 2010 and prepared by FPD of MARD, with an area of 4.370 hectares (FPD, 2003); this article has not been approved by the government.
Biodiversity and Conservation Topics in Son Tra Peninsula Da Nang
Between 1966 and 1969, Van Peenen et al. (1971) studied the presence of the Pygathrix nemaeus, Macaca fascicularis, and M. mulatta in Son Tra. These rare species was also recorded by Dinh Thi Phuong Anh and Huynh Ngoc Tao (2000) through their surveys between 1996 and 1998. According to the investment project in 1989 (Anon. 1989), the Son Tra Nature Reserve in Da Nang had 400-ha primitive forest and 2.611-ha secondary forest.
The dominant primitive forest belongs to families of Fagaceae, Dipterocarpaceae, Anacardiaceae, Moraceae, and Sapindaceae. Besides, the peninsula possesses other habitats of shrub, grassland, and cultivated forest. Together with the diverse terrestrial flora and fauna, the Site preserves the important marine biology. In particular, it recorded a community of the sea turtles nesting in some corners on the beaches (N. Cox in litt. 2003).
The major threats to the conservation of Son Tra Nature Reserve are timber exploitation, forest resource usage, and hunting. The unmanaged and illegal hunting is the biggest problem that threatens the number of high-value species. Furthermore, the forest fire is also a hazard that needs strong attention.
Ecotourism in Son Tra Peninsula Vietnam
Around 10km from the center of Da Nang City, the Son Tra Peninsula is an appealing ecotourism highlight. Especially, the Son Tra Mountain is visible from almost every corner of the city. There is a very interesting comparison saying that Son Tra looks like “a mushroom,” of which the cap is Son Tra Mountain and the stalk is the gorgeous sandy beach.
Travel to Son Tra, you will be pleased to enjoy the majestic scenes, explore the biodiversity, and play various outdoor games such as fishing, swimming, sunbathing, aquatic sports, trekking, and mountain climbing. From the top of the mountain, spread eyes toward the whole Da Nang City, the Marble Mountains, Linh Ung Pagoda, and more. Reward yourself with the peaceful and breathtaking panorama in Son Tra Nature Reserve Da Nang.