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Walk amongst wildlife at Vietnam’s newest UNESCO-recognized biosphere reserve

Monday, September 27, 2021, 11:06 GMT+7
Walk amongst wildlife at Vietnam’s newest UNESCO-recognized biosphere reserve
Pygathrix nigripes, a rare primate endemic to Nui Chua National Park in Ninh Thuan Province, Vietnam. Photo courtesy of the Nui Chua National Park Management

Boasting a uniquely diverse ecosystem spread across 31,000 hectares, Nui Chua National Park along Vietnam’s south-central coastline is the country's latest addition to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, as per an indication announcement released by UNESCO in early September.

Located in Ninh Thuan Province, Nui Chua National Park’s highest peak is Co Tuy Mountain – also known as Chua Em Mountain, which sits 1,039 meters above sea level. 

Its next highest peak – Chua Anh Mountain, also known as Ong Mountain – stands 978 meters above sea level.

Other large peaks in the Nui Chua mountain system, which runs north-to-south, include Ong Tho, Ba Duong, Sua Nuoc Khi, and Da Vach.

The gate of Nui Chua National Park in Ninh Thuan Province, Vietnam. Photo: Duy Ngoc / Tuoi Tre

The gate of Nui Chua National Park in Ninh Thuan Province, Vietnam. Photo: Duy Ngoc / Tuoi Tre

A pasture at Nui Chua National Park in Ninh Thuan Province, Vietnam. Photo: Duy Ngoc / Tuoi Tre

A pasture at Nui Chua National Park in Ninh Thuan Province, Vietnam. Photo: Duy Ngoc / Tuoi Tre

Nui Chua National Park is endowed with 1,514 plant species, including 27 endemic plants, 819 medicinal herbs, 61 decorative plants, as well as several species with food and oil extract value.

The park boasts 763 animal species, of which 60 are considered rare, 48 are deemed endangered in Vietnam’s Red Data Book for wildlife, and 34 are listed as at risk of extinction by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

A whopping 350 species of coral can be found in the Nui Chua biosphere, 307 of which are hard coral and 46 are acknowledged as newfound varieties in Vietnam. 

A sizeable population of sea turtles, including Eretmochelys imbricata and Chelonia mydas, also call the park home.

“UNESCO’s induction of Nui Chua National Park into the World Network of Biosphere Reserves underlines the cultural and conservational values of the area,” said Nguyen Thanh Trung, a co-writer of the location’s winning UNESCO nomination proposal.

“It is also an opportunity to promote the exchange of environmental conservation experience between Nui Chua National Park and other biosphere reserves around the world.”

In the near future, the management of Nui Chua National Park plans to focus on elevating the environmental awareness of local residents, while nurturing international cooperation and developing eco-services that cater to people interested in conservation and resource development.

A lake atop a mountain at Nui Chua National Park in Ninh Thuan Province, Vietnam. Photo courtesy of the Nui Chua National Park Management Board.

A lake atop a mountain at Nui Chua National Park in Ninh Thuan Province, Vietnam. Photo courtesy of the Nui Chua National Park Management

A Vietnamese mouse-deer, also known as a silver-backed chevrotain, an endemic species to Nui Chua National Park in Ninh Thuan Province, Vietnam. Photo courtesy of the Nui Chua National Park Management Board.

A Vietnamese mouse-deer, also known as a silver-backed chevrotain, a species endemic to Nui Chua National Park in Ninh Thuan Province, Vietnam. Photo courtesy of the Nui Chua National Park Management

A coral patch at Nui Chua National Park in Ninh Thuan Province, Vietnam. Photo courtesy of the Nui Chua National Park Management Board.

A coral patch at Nui Chua National Park in Ninh Thuan Province, Vietnam. Photo courtesy of the Nui Chua National Park Management

Isotrema nuichuaense, a rare plant species at Nui Chua National Park in Ninh Thuan Province, Vietnam. Photo courtesy of the Nui Chua National Park Management Board.

Isotrema nuichuaense, a rare plant species at Nui Chua National Park in Ninh Thuan Province, Vietnam. Photo courtesy of the Nui Chua National Park Management

Tourists on a trail through Nui Chua National Park in Ninh Thuan Province, Vietnam. Photo courtesy of the Nui Chua National Park Management Board.

Tourists on a trail through Nui Chua National Park in Ninh Thuan Province, Vietnam. Photo courtesy of the Nui Chua National Park Management

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