Cat Tien National Park Information
Area: 720 km2
Flora and fauna, birding.
Cat Tien National Park Is one of Vietnam's most important national parks. Cat Tien is about 3 hours drive from Ho Chi Minh city. It protects one of the largest areas of lowland tropical rainforests left in Vietnam. Cat Tien national park was protected initially in 1978 as two sectors, Nam Cat Tien and Tay Cat Tien. Another section, Cat Loc, was gazeted as a Rhinoceros Reserve in 1992 upon the discovery of a population of Javan Rhinoceros, an occasion that brought the park into the world's eye. The three areas were combined to form one park in 1998.
The park suffered historically during the Vietnam War when it was extensively sprayed with pesticides like the defoliant Agent Orange. To this day these areas have extensive bamboo and grassland cover and trees have not yet grown back.
About 50% of Cat Tien National Park is evergreen forest, dominated by Dipterocarpaceae, 40% of the park comprises of bamboo woodland, the remaining 10% is farmland, wetlands and grassland. The park fauna is impressive, if highly threatened, comprising of such impressive megafauna as Asian Elephants, Gaur, Sun Bears and, possibly, Banteng, and wild Water Buffalo (and prior to their extintion in Vietnam, the Java Rhinoceros). Some accounts also list tigers, Leopards, Clouded Leopards, Dholes and Asiatic black bears, however a recent series of surveys did not confirm this. The park also holds hosts of smaller mammal species, including Yellow-cheeked Gibbons, Silvered Langurs, Crab-eating Macaques, Lesser Slow Loris, as well as civets, mouse deer, and tree shrews.
The park also has impressive bird species including White-winged Ducks, Siamese Firebacks, Great Hornbills and lack Eagles