Lang Sen Wetland Reserve has just been recognised as the seventh Ramsar site in Viet Nam and 2,227th of the world, Director of the reserve Truong Thanh Son said.
Spreading over 4,800ha, the reserve is home to more than 150 kinds of plants and 140 kinds of birds, many of which are mentioned in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, such as the red-crowned crane, oriental darter and glossy ibis.Established in 2004, Lang Sen Wetland Reserve in the southern Long An Province still preserves the original ecosystem of Dong Thap Muoi Wetlands in Viet Nam’s Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta, besides Tram Chim National Park in the southern Dong Thap Province.
The ceremony of the recognition being granted is expected to take place on November 27.
Ramsar sites are wetlands of international importance designated under the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilisation of wetlands.
Lang Sen Wetland Reserve is a wetland complex in the “Plain of Reeds” of the Mekong Delta, which comprises a mosaic of seasonally flooded grassland, open swamp, and riverine Melaleuca and mixed forests. The Site supports the best sample of natural riverine forests in the Mekong Delta, and provides habitat for a wide diversity of waterbirds and fish species. It regularly supports more than 20,000 waterbird individuals in the dry season, including globally threatened species such as the endangered greater adjutant (Leptoptilos dubius) and the vulnerable sarus crane (Grus antigone). The Site also hosts globally vulnerable reptiles such as the Indochinese spitting cobra (Naja siamensis) and Southeast Asian softshell turtle (Cuora amboinensis). 27 of 87 fish species recorded in Lang Sen live only in the lower Mekong Basin; these include the critically endangered Mekong giant catfish (Pangasianodon gigas) and giant barb (Catlocarpio siamensis). According to a 1969 map, Lang Sen Wetland Reserve then covered around 10,000 hectares. With its current area of 4,802 hectares, the Site is the second largest remaining area of the Plain of Reeds. Local communities have long exploited Lang Sen Wetland Reserve; most of it is divided into small agro-forestry production patches, some managed by local households, and others by state bodies.