|Town/Region||Ha Long Bay|
|Categories||Bats, Ecotourism, Habitats|
|Date||6 Feb 2015|
Ha Long Hay is one of the most famous sites in Vietnam and Asia. It contains a high number of caves and hundreds of islets. The currently known flora and fauna of the bay include 14 and 60 species, respectively. The caves within the bay are remarked as homes to a highly diverse bat fauna. Over the past ten years, bat research and conservation were implemented within the surroundings of the bay, including Cat Ba and Bai Tu Long National Parks. Results of bat research from those two parks included discoveries of first records of bat species to the Vietnam fauna (Hipposideros khaokhouayensis from Cat Ba) and essential contribution to descriptions of some bat taxa new to science (Hipposideros alongensis sungi, Hipposideros griffin from Cat Ba). The results also indicated that the surroundings of Ha Long Bay is a home to at least one bat species endemic to Vietnam (Hipposideros alongensis). Remarkably, new findings have continuously increased over the surveys. “Ha Long Bay is one of the ideal areas for bat research and conservation in Vietnam” (the first bat expert of Vietnam, Dr. Vu Dinh Thong, personal communication). However, bats living within the core zone of Ha Long Bay is poorly studied. Therefore, this project expects to conduct field surveys and other action programmes in collaboration with local managers, communities, training and scientific institutions nationwide for an assessment of bat diversity, raising knowledge of the public and scientific communities, and promotion of bat conservation within Ha Long Bay, a World’s Heritage Site.
On the other hand, Ha Long Bay annually receives very many visitors including scientists, students, tourists, journalists and others. It also means that the bay receives much attention from various communities. As consequence, the project achievements will be helpful for different aspects, including academic research, education and training.
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