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Vietnam national park applies for further UNESCO recognition

Scientists at a UNESCO-recognized national park in central Vietnam are now applying for a second world heritage status, this time for its biodiversity, park managers said Friday.

Assisting Phong Nha- Ke Bang in Quang Binh province in this quest is the Hanoi National University.

Phong Nha-Ke Bang is considered the country’s most precious biodiversity site, with 2,394 plant species, many of them listed in Vietnam’s Red Book of endangered species, and 1,072 animal species, with 23 named in the World Conservation Union (IUCN)'s list of threatened species.

It also boasts 356 bird, 162 fish, 97 reptile, and 47 amphibian species, with 18 of them listed in the Red Book and six in the IUCN list, besides 270 butterfly species and 50 species of marine creatures.

Ten species of primates, or half of all primate species in the country, have been discovered in the park, with seven of them also making it to the Vietnam Red Book. Some are unique to Quang Binh.

Scientists recently discovered a new species of gecko, snakes and a 400-year-old population of Bach xanh (Calocedrus macrolepis), a conifer, in the area.

In an exciting discovery, three species of orchids, thought to be extinct in the world, have also been found in the park.

Phong Nha- Ke Bang was recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 2003 for its geological abundance. The park is one of the world’s two largest limestone regions which is home to hundreds of caves and grottoes.

It is now the fifth UNESCO- recognized site in Vietnam after Ha Long Bay, the imperial Hue city, Hoi An town and the My Son tower complex.

Thanh Nien News


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