info Flora and Fauna in Vietnam


Staff member
Jun 28, 2020
Originally, the entire Indo-Chinese peninsula was tropical rainforest. In 1943, Vietnam's forests totalled 13 million ha (32 million acres) - 42 per cent of national territory. By 1982 the forests had shrunk to 7.8 million ha (19 million acres), about 23 per cent of the land area, due to colonial policies, wars, slash-and-burn agriculture and rapid population growth. Through the efforts of the government's reforestation programme, it was estimated by 1999 that forests extended over approximately 28 per cent of the land, but of this, only 10 per cent remains as primary rainforest.
There have been other gains - the U-Minh forest in the Mekong Delta has largely been rescued from the ravages of chemical defoliants and it is now the world's largest mangrove swamp outside the Amazon basin.
The National Conservation Strategy calls for the creation of more than 100 protected areas in addition to the already existing 11 national parks. The most accessible of these are Cat Ba National Park, occupying half a large island 30km (18 miles) off the coast of Haiphong; Ba Be, north of Hanoi; Cuc Phuong, southeast of Hanoi; Bach Ma, near Hue in central Vietnam and in the southern central highlands, Nam Cat Tien and Yok Don.
Vietnam's flora and fauna are also diminishing. The country boasts some 12,000 species of plants, many of which have commercial value such as hard¬woods, medicinal plants and sources of resins. Fauna, which numbers 273 species of mammals, 180 species of reptiles and over 800 species of birds, is sadly declining as natural habitats are being destroyed. Among the larger animals endangered are elephants, rhinos, tigers, mountain leopards, black bears, deer and certain species of monkeys.