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Tràm Chim National Park in Dong Thap

Tràm Chim National Park is a national park in Đồng Tháp Mười, Đồng Tháp Province. This national park is created to protect several rare birds, especially the Sarus Crane (Grus antigone), a species listed in the IUCN Red Book.

Biodiversity values

The vegetation of Tram Chim National Park comprises a mixture of seasonally inundated grassland, regenerating Melaleuca forest and open swamp. Melaleuca is distributed throughout the national park, both in plantations and in scattered patches in areas of grassland or open swamp. There are five widespread grassland communities at Tram Chim, of which the community dominated by Eleocharis dulcis and wild rice Oryza rufipogon is of the highest conservation significance. Tram Chim is one of the few places in the Plain of Reeds where community is likely to survive to any extent, and, therefore, one of the most important sites for the conservation of wild rice in Vietnam. The other grassland communities are dominated by Eleocharis ochrostachys, Panicum repens, Ischaemum rugosum and Vossia cuspidata.

The Park is in the lowest area of the Mekong River water logged plain submerged and in the centre of Dong Thap Muoi. With a system of swamps, grass-plots and crossing canals, the 7,612 ha Tram Chim National Park has become an ideal habitat of more than 100 vertebrates, 40 species of fish, and 147 rare and precious species of birds, especially the red-head cranes. Hence, it is also an ideal place for scientists to research into the life of migratory birds. To date, at least 88 bird species have been recorded at Tram Chim National Park. The site is famous for the population of Sarus Cranes that inhabits the site in the dry season. In 1990s, hundreds of Cranes spent the dry season here. However, due to some inappropriate development in late 1990s and early 2000s, maximum counts of cranes fell dramatically to some 82 birds in the 2005 dry season. In addition to Sarus Crane, the globally endangered Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis has also been recorded at Tram Chim National Park. The status of this secretive grassland specialist at Tram Chim is not fully known but it is likely that birds vacate the area during periods of substantial inundation in the late wet season. Local people believe that the species breeds at the site, and claim to have found both eggs and young of the species but this has yet to be confirmed. A number of other globally threatened and near-threatened bird species regularly occur at Tram Chim, including Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster, Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus, Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala and Asian Golden Weaver Ploceus hypoxanthus.

Other wetland bird species of note recorded at Tram Chim include Cotton Pygmy Goose Nettapus coromandelianus, Greater Painted-snipe Rostratula benghalensis and Pheasant-tailed Jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus. Because of its importance for globally threatened and bird species, Tram Chim qualifies as an Important Bird Area.

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