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Cuc Phuong Park offers wildlife adventures, prehistoric relics

In Uncategorized on July 31, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Cuc Phuong Park offers wildlife adventures, prehistoric relics

QĐND – Saturday, July 31, 2010, 21:30 (GMT+7)

One of the nation’s largest rainforests in Cuc Phuong National Park in the northern province of Ninh Binh has become a hot destination for adventure and nature lovers, complete with wildlife treks and homestays in the communes of Thai and Muong ethnic groups.

Located in the triangle formed by Hoa Binh, Ninh Binh and Thanh Hoa, 120km southwest of Ha Noi, the park is just three hours away from the capital.

The 22,200ha park – home to 2,000 primates, flora, fauna, a series of caves and several big lakes – was established in 1962 by the Government to preserve forest ecosystems in the northern part of the country.

Over 300 species of birds have been recorded at Cuc Phuong Park, including red-headed woodpeckers, silver pheasants and the pitta brachyura.

An Endangered Primate Rescue Centre was built to protect endangered animals, including Delacour’s Langur, the Gray-shanked Douc Langur and the Golden Headed Langur, all of which are endemic primates that exist only in Viet Nam.

In spring, between March and May, the park is aflutter with countless butterflies and covered in wild flowers.

“The park hosts around 100,000 tourists annually and the park’s accommodations can hold around 300 visitors a night,” the park’s tour operator, Do Hong Hai, said.

Wildlife trekking

A special wildlife tour was first organised six years ago, but it still only draws a limited number of adventurers, as the number of wild animals in the park have dramatically decreased in recent years.

The park’s staff suggested that tourists should come during the dry season between September and December.

“Tourists will have more trouble during the rainy season, as leeches and mosquitoes are everywhere. However, in the dry season you won’t be as exhausted after your treks,” Hai said.

He said that it’s very rare chance to see leopards, tigers or bears at night because the number of animals has been reduced due to climate change and illegal poaching.

However, he said that the owston civet, the giant black squirrel, the Indian flying squirrel and the loris could be seen between 7pm and 9pm most days.

“You can catch the glowing eyes of the civets, squirrels and loris very often these days. The two hours you will spend tracking them down at night will give you an unforgettable experience and a sleepless night!” Hai said.

Prehistoric cave

Cuc Phuong Park is also well-known for its prehistoric cave.

The limestone cave, which was excavated in 1966, was one of the earliest discoveries of human habitation in the country, with graves, stone axes, bone-made spears and tools dating back some 7,500 years.

During the excavation 44 years ago, archaeologists found skeletons in three tombs where they believed prehistoric people had lived in the forest 7,500 years ago.

In 2000 archaeologists discovered a fossilised sea reptile called placodontia, the first to have been found in Southeast Asia, dating back 200-300 million years.

Visitors can also trek through a primary forest of century-old trees to meet the giant cho tree (parashrea stellata), believed to be around 1,000 years old.

Living with the locals

Khanh Commune –home to 100 Muong people – is the one of six communes recognised as a place to make a homestay by the park administration.

The Muong ethnic commune is an ideal place to stop for the night after an entire day of walking around. Tourists can spend the night and see traditional folk dances around a camp fire at night.

“The travellers can dance along with the locals, and roast potatoes and cassava roots for dinner. A cheerful night in the stilt house will refresh you for your next day’s journey,” said tour guide Le Vu Ha.

Ha said that rafting along the Buoi River was a favourite pastime for travellers.

“It’s very interesting. Local people use bamboo rafts to cross the river, and travellers can try their hands at rowing them,” Pham Van Cuong, a guide from a Ha Noi-based travel agency, said.

“Travellers can row themselves along the river, which is surrounded by rice paddies and corn fields.”

Tourists can also expect to pay US$211 a piece for a group tour for two for a two-day, one-night trip.

Travellers can also get a bus from the Ha Noi-based Giap Bat station to Cuc Phuong at 3pm each day, for a price of VND65,000.

Another bus leaves the station for Nho Quan District, but it needs another 25km drive on a xe om (motorbike taxi) to reach the park.

Tour arrangements can be made through Luxurytravel, Handspan Adventure Travel, Exotissimo Travel and Buffalo Tours in Ha Noi.

To learn more or to book a package, visit

Source: VietNamNet/Viet Nam News


Source: QDND

US course arms airport staff against wildlife trafficking

In Uncategorized on June 1, 2010 at 3:48 pm

US course arms airport staff against wildlife trafficking

QĐND – Tuesday, June 01, 2010, 22:13 (GMT+7)

A training course on wildlife trafficking prevention was held on June 1 for staff at Noi Bai International Airport with the funding from the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

During the workshop, 70 airport personnel including check-in counter attendants, baggage handlers, customs officers, immigration staff and security officials, were provided with the latest developments of the illegal wildlife trade in the world and its impacts.

They also studied the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, relevant national legislation, smuggling techniques, species identification and the handling of confiscations.

This was the eighth training course of its kind in Southeast Asia. The courses have been held for more than 1,100 participants throughout the region, most recently at SuvarnabhumiInternationalAirport in Bangkok, Thailand and the Kuala LumpurInternationalAirport in Malaysia.

The course has been built for airports around the world and particularly those in Southeast Asia since they have been found to become common points of transit for the illegally smuggled animals.

“It’s time to put a stop to criminals using our airports to smuggle protected and endangered species,” said Nguyen Ngoc Binh, Deputy Director General of Vietnam’s Directorate of Forestry.

Illegal wildlife trafficking within Vietnam has continuously been on the rise with criminals getting more cunning and professional, making it hard for authoritative agencies to detect and control, said an official from the Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Centre in Ho Chi Minh City.

The centre on May 31 handed over a rare leopard with the scientific name of panthera pardus to the CatTienNational Park in Dong Nai province.

The female leopard was rescued two years ago from illegal captivity. It will lated be released to the jungle.

The Cu Chi Rescue Centre has since 2006 saved 2,000 individuals of 39 species, many of which are invaluable, rare species listed in the red book.

Source: Vietnam+

Source: QDND

Media campaign against wildlife trade exhibits pictures in Hanoi

In Uncategorized on May 12, 2010 at 8:50 am

A media campaign aiming to curb the smuggling of rare wildlife, warns citizens not to sell endangered species protected by law.

Foreign visitors look at pictures at the Noi Bai Airport (Photo: Thien Nhien)

At Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi on May 11, organizers of the campaign displayed 16 pictures of endangered animals typically caught and sold illegally, including tigers, bears, elephants, and rhinos.

The campaign titled “Don’t buy complications,” encourages people to refrain from buying illegal animal products.

Those who engage in the sale of rare wildlife are subject to fines and criminal prosecution, the campaign’s message said.

Campaign organizers selected the Noi Bai International Airport for its high level of visibility, hoping to draw as much attention as possible to the issue of illegal animal smuggling. The northern Vietnamese airport serves about 4 million passengers a year. 

The campaign, headed by the organization TRAFFIC, also has the support of TRAFFIC, the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network, the Party Central Committee Commission for Propaganda and Education, the Ministry of Transport, World Wildlife Fund and the Department of Forestry.

Source: SGGP

Vietnamese wildlife protector to be honoured by the Swiss city of Bern

In Uncategorized on April 15, 2010 at 4:17 am

Vietnamese wildlife protector to be honoured by the Swiss city of Bern

QĐND – Wednesday, April 14, 2010, 22:58 (GMT+7)

Mr Alexander Tschaeppaet, the Mayor of Bern, Switzerland, has decided to award Nguyen Dinh Xuan, member of Vietnam’s National Assembly and also Director of Lo Go-Xa Mat National Park in Vietnam’s Tay Ninh province to acknowledge his efforts to the protection of bears in Vietnam.

The Swiss Embassy in Hanoi and the Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV) revealed that the award is expected to be given to Xuan at a meeting held by the Swiss Embassy in Hanoi on April 20th.

As a member of the National Assembly’s Committee for Science, Technology and Environment, Xuan has made outstanding contributions to the conservation of wildlife, particularly bears, which are the symbol of Bern.

Source: TTO

Translated by Vu Hung


Source: QDND

Bush-meat, wildlife trafficking at alarm levels

In Social life on March 22, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Bush-meat, wildlife trafficking at alarm levels

QĐND – Monday, March 22, 2010, 20:38 (GMT+7)

Vietnam’s ecosystem was seriously threatened by the widespread consumption of wild meat and trafficking of wildlife, experts said that at a recent conference.

Urgent action was needed on several fronts to prevent the destruction of the nation’s wildlife and their habitat, they said.

They called for strengthened, more effective public awareness campaigns against hunting and trafficking in wild animals and for the inclusion of this subject in the school curriculum, especially in rural areas.

Tom Osbon of the Vietnam-based Wildlife Management Office stressed the need to legalise multi-sectoral co-operation in preventing, discovering and punishing forest violations in order to protect wild animals effectively.

“It’s also very important to establish special inspectors in localities which record a high number of violations,” he added.

Dr Scott Roberton, head of Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), said that hunting wild animals for meat and trafficking had been happening in many countries, especially developing countries.

In Vietnam, hunting and trade animals had been alarming, he said.

A WCS study conducted at 200 restaurants in the central region found they consumed nearly 2 million wild animals per year. Among them, stag and wild boar accounted for around 70 percent of the consumed meat, followed by turtle, snake, fox and porcupine.

The study estimated the demand of wild animal consumption nationwide at nearly 4,500 tonnes per year.

The Forest Protection Department discovered 1,042 violations of wild animal protection laws last year, a decrease of 400 cases over 2008, the conference heard.

Dr. Nguyen Viet Dung, deputy head of the Centre for People and Nature Reconciliation, said that the real number was much higher.

Roberton added that Vietnam was also an important link in the international wild animal trafficking chain.

Last year, authorities found more than six tonnes of elephant tusks trafficked from Africa to Hai Phong City.

And, in 2008, more than 20 tonnes of pangolins (anteaters) and their scales were seized in Vietnam as they were being trafficked to China.

The Mong Cai Border Gate was one of places where wild animal trafficking is frequent.

Over the last two years, authorities have discovered 57 cases of trafficking in wild animals involving more than 7,612 individuals including monkeys and Tibetan bears and elephant tusks.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

US offers to back wildlife enforcement

In Uncategorized on November 21, 2008 at 1:37 pm

HCM City (VNA) – The United States can help Vietnam tackle a growing problem in wildlife trafficking by organising training courses for enforcement officials, a senior official said on Nov. 19.

Assistant Secretary Claudia McMurray of the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs told a press conference that the focus of training was shifting now to officials at the regional, provincial and local levels instead of national level as before.

She suggested public awareness campaigns similar to those implemented by the US could help reduce the demand for illegal wildlife and wildlife products.

McMurray, who began a five-day visit to Vietnam on Nov. 18, will meet with officials in Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho City, Lam Dong and Dong Nai provinces, to highlight the importance of cooperation on climate change research and mitigation, and to encourage efforts to preserve wildlife and prevent wildlife trafficking.

Later on Tuesday, she will attend the inauguration ceremony of the Delta Research and Global Observation Network, or “DRAGON” Institute, the first such institute outside the US , at Can Tho University in the Mekong Delta.

The DRAGON Institute will bring together Vietnamese and American scientists to cooperate on climate change research and mitigation, as well as other environmental issues.

She will travel to the Cat Tien National Park in Dong Nai province on Nov. 21 where she will visit US and international wildlife projects including a bear sanctuary, a gibbon rehabilitation centre, a reforestation area sponsored by Winrock International, and primate research conducted by University of Colorado experts.

She is also expected to meet with Da Teh District People’s Committee in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong to discuss sustainable development, and visit a manufacturer of bamboo furniture and handicraft where the workers are trained by Winrock International, a global NGO that works on rural development and sustainable management of natural resources.-