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Cat Ba National Park - The variety of waterfalls, caves and grottoes

Cat Ba National Park is situated in Cat Hai district, Hai Phong city. The national park is centred on Cat Ba island, a 28,500 ha island that lies 20 km due to east of Hai Phong city and immediately to the west of Halong bay. The national park additionally integrated a number of the tiny islands and marine waters located to the east of Cat Ba island.

Topography and hydrology

Similar to Halong bay, the landscape of Cat Ba National Park is dominated by karst limestone islands rising abruptly from the ocean. The topography is rugged and marked by steep outcrops and areas of vacant rock. The national park ranges in elevation from ocean level to 331 m at the summit of Mount Cao Vong.

Developed karst landscapes, drainage patterns are sophisticated by subterranean passages which most likely account for many of the drainage in the national park. The centre of Cat Ba island is no over 5 km from the coast, and surface drainage is poorly developed and seasonal.

Biodiversity values

Cat Ba National Park supports a diversity of natural habitats, together with forested hills, tiny freshwater lakes, freshwater swamp forest, mangroves, sandy beaches together with coral reefs. The key natural vegetation sort on Cat Ba island is limestone forest. To date, 839 vascular plant species are recorded at the national park, containing 25 species listed within the Red Data Book of Vietnam.

Because of the isolated nature of the island and high levels of hunting, the range and abundance of mammals at Cat Ba are low compared to alternative national parks in Vietnam. Scientists report that the sole ungulates on the island are Southern Serow Naemorhedus sumatraensis, Eurasian Wild Pig Sus scrofa and Red Muntjac Muntiacus muntjak however that solely the previous is common.

One of highest importance from a conservation perspective, Cat Ba National Park supports the sole known population of Cat Ba Leaf Monkey Trachypithecus poliocephalus in the world. The results of a close survey of this endemic primate in 1999 and 2000 show that the full population of Cat Ba Leaf Monkey is simply between 104 and 135 people, together with solely 50 to 75 adults.

The limestone habitats at Cat Ba National Park are necessary for variety of invertebrate taxa. A survey in 1998, for example, revealed that, thanks to an abundance of appropriate moist niches in the limestone forest, the national park had a rich and various snail fauna.

Other documented values

Every year, Cat Ba island receives giant numbers of domestic and overseas tourists. A big proportion of those tourists visit the national park, either on foot, along one in all the hiking trails, or by boat, through the marine part. The national park can, therefore, be thought of to be creating a crucial contribution to the island's economy.

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