Pu Luong Nature Reserve
Pu Luong nature reserve is located in Quan Hoa and Ba Thuoc districts, in north-western Thanh Hoa province. To the north-east, the nature reserve is bordered by Mai Chau, Tan Lac and Lac Son districts, Hoa Binh province. Pu Luong nature reserve lies along two parallel mountain ridges, that run from north-west to south-east, and are bisected by a central valley. This valley contains several human settlements and a large area of agricultural land, and, hence, is not included within the proposed nature reserve.
Is Pu Luong worth a visit?
The two mountain ridges in the proposed nature reserve have starkly contrasting land forms, based on their different substrates. The smaller, south-western ridge is made up of mostly igneous and metamorphic rocks, and consists of rounded forested hills and wide, shallow valleys. The larger, north-eastern ridge is composed of heavily dissected limestone karst, and is a continuation of the limestone range that runs from Cuc Phuong National Park to Son La province. Elevations in the proposed nature reserve range from 60 to 1,667m.
One of the most beautiful areas in northern Vietnam, the mountainous Pu Luong Nature Reserve presents a challenge to those who are fit enough to explore it. This is an area of outstanding beauty, an exciting mix of cultures, and rich biodiversity stretching from Mai Chau in the northwest to Cuc Phuong National Park in the southeast. The region is blessed with lush forests, vast limestone panoramas, magnificent rice terraces, and breathtaking scenery.
Pu Luong flora and fauna
Fauna has been confirmed and recorded so far to have 598 species of 130 families, 31 orders including 162 bird species, 55 fish species, 28 reptile species, 13 amphibian species, 24 bat species, 63 mamal species, 158 insect species, 96 snail species.
There are 51 rare and valuable and endemic species listed in the Vietnam Red Book (2000) and the IUCN’s Red List (IUCN, 2003) of which there are 26 mamal species, 5 bat species, 9 bird species, 5 freshwater fish species, 6 reptile species. It is noticable to affirm the certain existence of big mammals such as Clouded Leopard Pardofelis nebulosa, Golden Cat Catopuma temminckii, Owston’s Palm Civet Hemigalus owstoni, Serow Naemohedus sumatraensis, Asiantic bear Ursus thibetanus, Malayan Porcupine Hystrix brachyura.
Pu Luong Nature Reserve is perhaps most renowned for remaining populations of the globally critically endangered Delacour’s Langur Trachypithecus delacouri, which is the second biggest population in Vietnam, after Van Long Nature Reserve. An estimated total of 31 to 38 individuals of the primate are believed to occur in four separate sub- populations at the Nature Reserve.
The limestone range is thought likely to encompass much of the remaining limestone associated species-richness. Pu Luong NR supports at least 1109 vascular vegetation species arranged in 447 genera, 152 families, including 42 endemic species of Vietnam and four species in IUCN’s Red List (IUCN, 2003).
It includes 160 species of orchids in wich there are some rare species such as: Hai orchid(Paphiopedilum spp), Kim tuyen (Anoectochilus spp) and some threatened conifers such as: Đinh tung (Cephalotaxus mannii), De Tung (Amentotaxus yunnanensis), Pedocarpus fleurgi (Podocarpus fleuryi), Pa Co pinus (Pinus kwangtungensis). There are four new species are discovered in the biodiversity inventory process.