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  Enviroment Research & Protection

New species found in protected cave

New species of flora and fauna have recently been discovered at the world natural heritage site of Phong Nha-Ke Bang cave in the central province of Quang Binh.

The latest discovery of three reptiles has enriched the biodiversity of the ecosystem in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, said Dinh Huy Tri director of the Park’s Science Centre.

The new species include two kinds of snake ran luc sung (green-keratin snake) and ran luc Truong Son (Truong Son-green snake) which are very rare and living at the foot and sides of karst mountains.

A species of gecko, which has been named Phong Nha-Ke Bang has also been found in karst mountain caves. This gecko looks for food at night which is considered to be a strange habit for this animal.

Last year, naturalists catalogued 144 species of amphibian reptile in the Park.

It is a paradise for ichthyographers (experts involved in the study of fish), according to Dr Nguyen Thai Tu a naturalist studying in the area

The park also contains 162 out of total 544 species in the whole country, which makes it a rare natural heritage site.

"There are not many areas in Viet Nam that are this rich in diversity," said World Wild Fund for Nature expert Maricus Madeja.

Vietnamese slipper orchid (Vietnamese Paphiopedilum delenatii Guillaumin) is listed by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) to be extinct, however, Dr Leonid Averyanov from the Russian Science Academy found three kinds of slipper orchids in a primitive forest in the karst mountain.

To prevent illegal exploitation of the rare orchid the location and distribution has not been revealed said park diretor Nguyen Tan Hiep. At present, the national park’s staff are cultivating the slipper orchids to increase its numbers.

He added that the forest is protected by the park’s ranger team because it is a source of pride for the Vietnamese people.

Recently, British explorers have reported the discovery of a very beautiful cave in the park containing countless stalactites. The cave has been named Paradise by the explorers and park officials due to its remarkable beauty.

Vietnamnews - (19/08/2005)

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