National park marks 10-year collaboration with German zoo

A seminar was held at Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in the central province of Quang Binh October 17 to mark the park’s decade-long cooperation with the Cologne Zoo of Germany.

Calocedrus rupestris Aver, a species of pine tree thought to be the most primitive in Southeast Asia, was discovered in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

At the seminar, which was attended by zoo scientists and Vietnamese biologists, Professor Vo Quy from Ha Noi National University’s Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Studies said, “[Even] within the next 30 years, we will still not understand all [there is to know] about Phong Nha-Ke Bang because of its biological diversity.
“Within the framework of the decade-long cooperation, scientists have discovered 19 new fauna and flora species, 12 of which have been discovered by Cologne scientists,” Prof. Quy added.
Dr. Thomas Ziegler from Cologne said more animal species will likely be discovered in the future and that Phong Nha-Ke Bang will have a profound impact on the world of science.
During a research trip to the Phong Nha-Ke Bang heritage buffer zone on October 16, Dr. Ziegler discovered a new lizard species which is very small and toothpick-like.  
Prof. Quy has temporarily named it the Phong Nha-Ke Bang thread lizard.
Ten years ago, Germany’s Cologne Zoo embarked on a nature conservation project with Quang Binh Province under which it has helped local authorities enforce conservation of biodiversity and endangered fauna and flora at Phong Nha-Ke Bang Park.

The Cologne Zoo has also assisted the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park to build a rescue center for wild animals. The center was designed for the accommodation, quarantine, feeding and breeding of small- to medium-sized mammals, and also included enclosures for turtles.

Since 1999, the Cologne Zoo has cooperated with the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in conducting research on amphibians and reptiles.

The zoo has also provided training for park staff to improve their capacity in conducting research and enforcing rescue and protection measures.

To further their cooperation in biodiversity research and conservation, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park and the Cologne Zoo signed a memorandum of cooperation for the 2008-2013 period.

Apart from pledges for continued collaboration in biodiversity research, forest protection, wild animal rescue and environmental education, the two sides will work together to create livelihoods and stable incomes for local people who live in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park’s buffer zone.

In September this year, the German Government committed to continue funding the project on conservation and sustainable management of natural resources in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.

By D. Tu – Translated by Hoang Yen

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