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U Minh Thuong gets Ramsar site tag

Update: February, 23/2016 - 14:57

U Minh Thuong National Park in Kien Giang Province, one of the three highest-priority sites for wetland conservation in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta, was recognised as a Ramsar site yesterday. — Photo vtv.vn

KIEN GIANG (VNS) — U Minh Thuong National Park in the southern Kien Giang Province was recognised as the eighth Ramsar site in Viet Nam yesterday.

The national park is located in the communes of Minh Thuan and An Minh Bac in U Minh Thuong District in Kien Giang Province, about 364km from HCM City.

Proclaimed a national park in 2002, U Minh Thuong has 21,107ha of freshwater wetlands, peat forest, seasonally inundated grasslands and swamp.

U Minh Thuong National Park is home to distinctive flora and fauna such as 32 mammal species, 187 bird species, 34 reptile and amphibian species and 37 varieties of fish, besides 203 insect species. Many of these are globally threatened creatures, such as the endangered yellow-breasted bunting, yellow-headed temple turtle, Sunda pangolin and fishing cat.

The park is also one of only three sites in the world known to support a population of the endangered hairy-nosed otter (Lutra sumatrana).

The park regularly hosts more than 20,000 water birds. Most of the fish are native species and the distribution of eight of these is restricted to the lower Mekong Basin.

One of the last significant peat forests remaining in Viet Nam, the park has also been recognised as one of the three highest-priority sites for wetland conservation in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta.

U Minh Thuong National Park has large areas of peat layers and a complex system of canals that can store a large volume of water. It functions as a sponge that maintains the groundwater level and releases surface water to the surrounding areas, and supports the production and daily activities of the local communities surrounding the park. 

Ramsar, or the Convention of Wetlands, is an intergovernmental treaty that provides a framework for conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. It was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971 and came into force in 1975. — VNS

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