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Chu Yang Sin National Park - A green pearl in landscape


   Chu Yang Sin National Park is located in Đắk Lắk province, established according to Decision no. 92/2002/QD-TTg by the Prime Minister on converting the Chu Yang Sin Nature Reserve to the Chu Yang Sin National Park with main tasks of protection of forest ecosystems and conservation of rare and threatened flora and fauna. The total area of the National Park is 58,947 ha, consisting of three functional zones: strictly protection zone (19,401 ha), ecological rehabilitation zone (39,526 ha) and administrative service zone (20 ha). In addition, the park has a buffer zone of 183,479 ha, in the location of four districts Lac Duong, Dam Rong (Lâm Đồng), Lac, Krong Bong (Đắk Lắk).

Flora system of the Chu Yang Sin National Park

   Located in the final section of the Truong Son Mountain in southern Central Highlands and as a part of the Đà Lạt highland, the Chu Yang Sin National Park has a diverse natural landscape with more than 40 mountain ranges, immense forest vegetation, and many intertwined springs and waterfalls. Of which, the Chu Yang Sin runs towards east-west direction, dividing the national park into north and south parts with the highest mountain peak of 2,442 m. The Chu Yang Sin peak was named as the second roof of the Central Highland, after Ngoc Linh peak in Kon Tum.

   The National park has a special and unique flora ecosystem, consisting of 887 vascular plants in 140 families, 591 genera, of which there are 81 rare and threatened flora species in the Viet Nam Red Book and the World Red Book such as: Cốt toái đá (Polypodium fortunei Kunze), bách xanh (Calocedrus macrolepis), pơ mu (Fokienia), du sam núi (Keteleeria evelyniana), sao cát (Hopea odorata), chò đen (Parashorea stellate), cẩm lai (Dalbergia oliveri), giáng hương (Pterocarpus macrocarpus) …

   With nine forest types formed in the seasonal tropical climate, the Chu Yang Sin National Park has a relatively diverse ecosystem, which are: tropical moist rain evergreen close forest; low mountainous sub-tropical rain evergreen close forest (dominated with sao đen (Hopea odorata), dầu con rái (Dipterocarpus alatus), dầu con quay (Dipterocarpus turbinatus)…); medium high mountainous sub-tropical moist rain evergreen close forest (dominated with species of Fagaceae, Lauraceae, coniferous trees such as thông Đà Lạt (Pinus dalatensis), thông hai lá dẹt (Pinus krempfii), thông ba lá (Pinus kesiya) and pơ mu (Fokienia); sub-tropical dry coniferous scattered forest (mostly loài thông ba lá (Pinus kesiya)); pygmy forest (with different types of bamboo); half deciduous evergreen forest (dominated with cây bằng lăng ổi (Lagerstroemia calyculata Kurz), chiêu liêu gân đen (Terminalia nigrovenulosa Pierre ex Laness); monoculture bamboo forest, shrubs and scattered timber trees. Of flora species, there are more than 300 medicinal plants, mostly belonging to families of cúc (Asteraceae), ngũ gia bì (Araliaceae), bạc hà (Lamiaceae), cà phê (Rubiaceae), đậu (Leguminosae)...; 97 species can be used for food, 288 species used for ornamental purposes.

   The flora system of the National Park is also very diverse, with 515 species, including 64 mammals, 258 birds, 81 fishes, 248 day butterflies, 54 amphibians and 58 reptiles. Of which, 68 species are threatened to extinction, many species are in the Viet Nam Red Book and the World Red Book such as: Sói đỏ (Cuon alpinus), tiger, gaur, Asian golden cat, black-shanked douc, yellow-cheeked gibbon, collared laughing thrush, giant kingfisher, great hornbill, white-crowned hornbill, quạ khách đuôi cờ (Temnurus temnurus), ếch cây (Rhacophoridae)…

Mi núi Bà (Crocias langbianis), an endemic bird in the National Park is being threatened to extinction 

   Particularly, scientists have recently discovered the mi núi Bà (Crocias langbianis) in Chu Yang Sin National Park. This bird can mostly be found in low canopy of broadleaf trees mixed with coniferous trees. Mi núi Bà usually eats small pests and insects. This is the rarest bird in the world and is in the list of species having high danger of extinction in nature, due to the loss of the living environment.

   Together with the magnificent natural landscape, the Park has unique cultural characteristics of the community of 25 ethnic minorities resided in the buffer zone. Of which, two indigenous groups are Êđê and M’Nông, the remaining are Mường, H’ Mông, Tày, Thái, Nùng… migrated from northern provinces in 1980s, creating a colourful cultural picture, exceptionally the Central Highlands gong culture – humane non-material cultural heritage and historical epics.

   However, in recent years, the increasing population in the buffer zone, statistically with more than 80,000 people (21,000 households) has threatened the natural resources in the National Park. Livelihoods of local people living the buffer zone depend mostly on agricultural production and available natural resources. Due to illegal logging, slash and burn farming and wildlife hunting... the forest ecosystem is seriously degrading; the natural forest area is getting smaller, which cause habitat loss for wildlife, particularly for tigers, elephants and gaurs …

   To increase forest management and protection, the National Park Management Board has actively collaborated with agencies, forest owners and localities to patrol the forest. In 2015, 484 short-term and long-term patrols were organized, through which to expel 420 subjects out of the forest; discover 22 violation cases, seize 2 electric saws, 1 animal, 722 trap lines, 23 hunting guns, 17 tools and vehicles, and destroy 13 camps.

   In addition, the National Park has contracted more than 21,000 households in the buffer zone to implement forest management and protection according to Decree no. 99/2010/ND-CP on payment for forest environmental services, with an amount of 5,844,285,000 dong, contributing to enhance forestry socialization, and reduce pressures of local people towards forest protection and sustainable development.

   Furthermore, awarded with natural and climatic favourable conditions, in recent years, the National Park has developed many types of ecotourism, contributing to increase the income and to improve the livelihoods of local people such as rock visit, waterfall and highest mountain peak trekking… Besides, tourists can visit gaurs, watch mammals in the evening in the pine forests, camp, and bathe in Dac Gui spring… In the upcoming time, the Đắk Lắk tourism will explore different types of natural and adventurous tours in the National Park and connect the National Park with many other routes and places in the province such as Lac Lake, Krong Kmar waterfall, Dac Tuor cave...

   To implement sustainable development goals, during 2011-2020, the Đắk Lắk province has proposed solutions to conserve biodiversity in the National Park such as: protect, maintain and develop wildlife, of which focusing on developing ecotourism in harmony with environmental protection; select appropriate tourism types and scopes and have specific plans in the tourism development strategy; enhance the quality and create unique characteristics of tourism products and cultural festivals ….

   In addition, the province assigns the National Park Management Board to develop the “co-management and community-based management” to build capacity of staff on flora and fauna conservation, natural resources and environment management, create stable jobs and improve livelihoods for local people, reduce pressures and negative impacts on forest resources and biodiversity; collaborate with research institutes, universities, and international organisations to develop schemes on biodiversity studies, particularly effective solutions on protection and conservation of rare animals and birds; prevent illegal animal hunting affecting the sustainability and integrity of ecosystems and biodiversity of the National Park; collaborate with departments and sectors in the province and domestic and international professional organisations in scientific study, sustainable management of forest ecosystems and buffer zone community development; promote the propaganda about forest environmental protection to young generations, particularly schools’ pupils in the buffer zone of the National Park; organize to integrate forest protection into relevant development plans, programs and projects …■

Nhật Minh

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