Overview Of Van Long Wetland Nature Reserve
Van Long Wetland Nature Reserve is a unique natural area that covers over 3,000 hectares of land and is made up of shallow lakes, rivers, and rich wetlands that are surrounded by a famous limestone mountain range with a beautiful cave system and vegetation that is typical for this type of ecosystem. The reserve is the only remaining intact wetland in the Red River Delta and is divided into three main areas: limestone mountains, wetland, and a mix of fields, lawns, swidden fields, and village ecosystems.
Biodiversity Of Van Long Wetland Nature Reserve
The flora and fauna of Van Long is typical for the limestone and wetland ecosystems of the Red River Delta and includes over 100 species of birds and 457 species of higher plants, 8 of which are listed in the Red Book of Vietnam. There are also 39 species of animals, including 12 rare species like the king cobra, iguana, ground python, buffalo snake, and gecko. The reserve is particularly known for being home to over 100 individuals of the langur, a primate species that is threatened with extinction globally and can only be found in Vietnam.
Landscape Beauty Of Van Long Wetland Nature Reserve
In addition to its rich biodiversity, Van Long Wetland is also known for its beautiful landscapes. The wetland is referred to as “the bay without waves” because the water appears flat and mirror-like when viewed from a boat, reflecting the strong carvings of the surrounding limestone massifs. The water in the wetland is clear and shows the layers of moss on the bottom, rather than being blue like the sea. Visitors can leisurely travel through the ravines on old bamboo boats, surrounded by tall grasses and interspersed with water, creating a peaceful and idyllic landscape. With its beautiful, unspoiled landscapes, Van Long Wetland Reserve is a popular destination for tourists and a research field for scientists and students studying inland wetlands in Vietnam.
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Birds In Van Long Wetland Nature Reserve
Van Long Nature Reserve is located in a region with a high level of precipitation, and as a result, it is likely to support a diverse array of water birds. Water birds are birds that are adapted to living in or near water, and they can be found in a variety of wetland habitats, including marshes, swamps, lakes, and rivers. Some examples of water birds that may be found in Van Long include:
The Asian openbill stork is a large wading bird in the Ciconiidae family and is predominantly found in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It is grey or white in color with shiny black wings and tail, and has a gap between its arched upper and recurved lower mandibles.
The northern pintail is a migratory bird that typically winters in flooded habitats in the northern and central plains, including the Van Long lagoon. Both male and female northern pintails have blue-grey bills, grey legs, and feet. They primarily feed on plants, but also include small invertebrates in their diet during the nesting season.
The Eurasian coot is a member of the rail and crake bird family and is characterized by its slaty-black body, glossy black head, and white bill with a white frontal shield.
The white-browed crake is a small, slim-bodied crake with relatively long legs and toes that is commonly found in water lily ponds. It feeds by scavenging over floating plants and densely vegetated wetlands.
The pheasant-tailed jacana is a bird that is easily recognized by its long tail feathers during the breeding season. It can be found in the Van Long lagoon and forages by swimming or walking on aquatic vegetation.
The black bittern is a bird with a long neck and long yellow bill. The adult black bittern is entirely black on top and has yellow neck sides. It breeds in reed beds and nests on platforms of reeds in shrubs or sometimes trees, and feeds on insects, fish, and amphibians.
The northern shoveler is a duck with a green head, white breast, chestnut belly and sides, and a blue patch on the forewing. It can be found in shallow marshes and lagoons, where it uses its large, comb-like bills to filter small organisms and seeds from the mud.
Falcated ducks are typically found in freshwater lakes, ponds, rivers, and marshes surrounded by forests, and they feed by dabbling for plants or grazing. They are social birds outside of the breeding season and can be found in large flocks. Both male and female falcated ducks have black bills, brown irises, gray to yellow legs, and iridescent green speculums on their wings.
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Delacour’s Langurs in Van Long Wetland Nature Reserve
Van Long Lagoon is home to more than 200 Delacour’s langurs, a primate species indigenous to Vietnam that was first discovered by and named after Jean Théodore Delacour in 1930. These primates have black fur with white markings on the face and distinctive creamy-white fur on their rump and outer thighs. Female Delacour’s langurs also have a patch of pale fur in the pubic area. They are typically found in limestone karst forests, either broadleaf evergreen or evergreen shrubs. Delacour’s langurs are listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, and conservation efforts are underway to protect and preserve this species. Van Long Lagoon has the world’s largest population of Delacour’s langurs.
Boat Trip In Van Long Wetland Nature Reserve
A boat trip in Van Long Wetland Reserve is a popular way to explore the wetland and see its diverse array of plant and animal life. The wetland is characterized by its flooded forests, limestone cliffs, and karst landscapes, which provide habitat for a variety of species.
During a boat trip, visitors can typically take a small, flat-bottomed boat through the wetlands and navigate through the narrow channels and waterways that wind through the area. The boat trips usually last a few hours and are guided by a local tour guide who can provide information about the wetland’s history, geology, and biology.
As you travel through the wetland, you may see a variety of species, such as primates, waterfowl, and reptiles. You may also see endangered species, such as the Delacour’s langur and the white-shouldered ibis, which are found only in this region. In addition to seeing the wildlife, visitors can also learn about the cultural and historical sites in the area, such as the Tran Temple and the Ma Yen Temple.
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A boat trip in Van Long Wetland Reserve is a unique and enjoyable way to experience the wetland’s natural beauty and it is a great way to spend a day in the beautiful Vietnamese countryside.