The Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in the central province of Quang Binh has been expanded to 123,326ha from the previous 85,754ha under a recent decision of the Prime Minister.

Announcing the decision on August 21, the Quang Binh provincial People’s Committee said t he expansion aims to enhance preservation of biodiversity and exceptional values on geology and geomorphology of limestone karst ecosystem in the park, while contributing to the management of special use forest system in Vietnam and environment protection.

Established under the Decision No. 189/2001/QD-TTg in 2001 by the Prime Minister, the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is among the 238 most important ecological zones in the world.

The park is divided into three different subdivisions, including a zone under strict protection, an area for ecological restoration and an administrative area. The core zone subject to strict protection is located in Bo Trach and Minh Hoa districts, while the buffer zone covering 220,000ha spreads out over 13 communes in three districts-Bo Trach, Minh Hoa and Quang Ninh.

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park was recognised by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage site on geological and geomorphological criteria in July, 2003.

The park is home to a large number of faunal and floral species, including threatened species such as tiger, Asiatic black bear, Asian elephant, giant muntjac, Asian wild dog and the recently discovered sao la.

In particular, 19 new species have been discovered in the park, including 14 reptiles, an amphibian, two kinds of scorpions and one bird.

Source: VNA