The central highlands Gia Lai Province, in co-operation with Man and the Biosphere Programme, an intergovernmental scientific programme of UNESCO, has completed a dossier for the World Biosphere Reserve recognition of Kon Ha Nung Highlands.
Two gray-shanked douc langurs (pygathrix cinerea) – the world's largest troop living in the central region of Vietnam -- are found living in the national Kon Ka Kinh Park in Gia Lai Province. The province has sent a dossier for the World Biosphere Reserve recognition of Kon Ha Nung Highlands in the province. Photo courtesy of Frankfurt Zoological Society
A total area of 413,511ha of Kon Ka Kinh National Park and Kon Chu Rang natural reserve is discussed in the dossier.
The central provincial sub-department of forest protection confirmed to Viet Nam News the preparatory works, which had been built in 2018-20, was sent to UNESCO last September for approval.
It said the UNESCO recognition of the reserve would help protect and preserve the rich biodiversity of the unique site, boosting eco-tourism and community livelihoods as well as attract international scientific research.
The world reserve will include two core zones of Kon Ka Kinh National Park and Kon Chu Rang natural reserve on 57,493ha, and a 152,693ha buffer zone covering districts and communes of Đắk Đoa, Mang Yang, K’Bang, Chư Păh, Đắk Pơ and An Khe township of the province.
Dr. Ha Thang Long, head of the representative office of the Frankfurt Zoological Society in Vietnam said the site will be a key centre of natural scenery protection helping critically endangered species and precious gene conservation.
Ethnic Ba Na group preserve their culture and lifestyle in connection with the protection of forests in Gia Lai Province. Photo courtesy Le Van Canh
He said Kon Ka Kinh National Park had been a safe haven for about 250 gray-shanked douc langurs (pygathrix cinerea) – the world's largest troop living in the central region of Vietnam.
These animals are among the world's 25 critically endangered primates according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUNC) Red List.
"The park is also home to three kinds of monkey (Macaca leonia, Macaca artoides and Macara mulatta), two species of loris (Nycticebus bengalensis and Nycticebus pygmaeus) and gibbons (Nomascus leucogienys leucogienys), he said.
Conservationists also found and recorded the existence of chestnut-eared laughing thrush (Garrulax konkakinhensis), a rare species of bird, in the park.
Some endangered species were recorded in the area including agarwood (Aquilaria crassna); Giant Muntjac (Megamuntiacus vuquangensis), Trường Sơn Muntjac (Muntiacus trươngsonensis), Northern buffered-cheeked gibbon (Nomascus annamensis), Austen’s brown hornbill (Anorrhinus austeni); Crested argus (Rheinardia ocellata), Silver Pheasant (Lophura nycthemera).
Dr Ha Thang Long (left) gives a lecture to a group of students during a field study trip in the jungle of the central highlands region. VNS Photo Cong Thanh
Kon Ka Kinh, which was one of five national parks in Vietnam, and one of 27 national parks being recognised as ASEAN Heritage Park in 2003, plays an important role in the protection of the area upstream the Ba River and the Dak Pne River, which supply water for crops in Gia Lai and Kon Tum provinces.
The Frankfurt Zoological Society's Vietnam Primate Conservation Programme have pursued a long-term conservation, protection and education programme on the gray-shanked douc langur in the park since 2006.
Vietnam has eight world biosphere reserves, but no natural forest in the central highlands region has been awarded the world recognition by UNESCO.
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