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Oberlin College

Publication Date

Spring 2009

Program Name

Viet Nam: Ecology and Sustainability in the Mekong Delta

Abstract

The herpetofauna of the Mekong Delta Region of Vietnam is not as frequently studied as the fauna of the Central and Northern Highlands Regions of the same country. Tram Chim National Park is situated in the Mekong Delta Region in Đồng Tháp Province and is one of the last remaining intact areas of the “Plain of Reeds” ecosystem that once used to cover this now mainly agricultural land. Although studies on the bird fauna, vegetation and ecological management of Tram Chim National Park are common, there has never been a study of the parks reptiles and amphibians. Moreover, by comparing the herpetological diversity between two differently managed areas within the park (A1 and A2) one can elucidate the effect of these conservation strategies on reptiles and amphibians. For 16 days the reptiles and amphibians of Tram Chim National Park were intensely documented by means of visual encounter surveys, pitfall traps and help from the local villagers. 440 reptiles and amphibians, composing 26 species were found. This represents 10 more species than found by Nguyen et al (2007) in an almost identical habitat in a neighboring province. The overall herpetological diversity of Tram Chim National Park was calculated, and it is extremely high (3.23 by Shannon’s diversity index). It was found that, surprisingly, the improperly managed area of A2 is actually more herpetologically diverse than A1. However, this difference is most likely due to seasonal variations as many villagers said that substantially more reptiles are found A1 during the wet season. In the end this study 1) documented the reptile and amphibian diversity of Tram Chim National Park, 2) concluded that the conservation management strategies of the park are sound and 3) may have also found up to 16 range extensions or confirmations.

Disciplines

Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Natural Resources and Conservation

 

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