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Xuan Thuy National Park, the first Ramsar Site in Vietnam

Being the home to many important species, Xuan Thuy National Park plays an important role in preserving ecological system and developing eco-tourism of the Red River Delta.

Located in the Giao Thuy District, Nam Dinh Province, Xuan Thuy National Park was declared Vietnam's first Ramsar site of Vietnam in January 1989. More than o­ne quarter of the park's 12,000ha is covered with mangroves that support many aquatic species - including fish, crustaceans and molluscs. These species provide food and livelihoods for the poor, local people of the area. The parkhouses the “Cá Mòi Co” (Clupanodon thrissa), a fish listed in Vietnam's Red Book as vulnerable and at risk of extinction. It is also recognized as a platform for migratory water birds, including the “Cò thìa” (Black-faced Spoon-Bill), and eight other listed endangered species.

The park has a rich, biodiverse coastal wetland environment that is home to about 110 aquatic plant species, 500 species of benthos and zooplankton. Many aquatic species of high economic value, like shrimps, fish, crabs and oysters, are also found in the area. Fish, shrimps and crabs provide the main income of the local community.

As a staging and wintering site o­n the East Asian-Australian flyway, the best time to visit Xuan Thuy is September to April. In August and September, it is still possible to see non-breeding Painted Stork, as well as early migrants, such as Black-winged Stilt. Later, from October o­nwards, it relatively easy to find wintering Black-faced Spoonbills, particularly at their roost sites in the shrimp ponds.

In Xuan Thuy National Park, you can ask for the assistance from park staff, who know the site very well and are able to show us where to watch particular bird species. It will be so good if you can get a guide from the park. Basically, you can take the hiking routes or boating routes to the sites of interest. It means that you can travel by foot to some places of interest; or you can o­nly be reached by boat at high tide.

Xuan Thuy National Park is the pride for local people in their wetlands area, its relevance as a Ramsar site, its importance for their eco-tourist development...


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