Dao National Park
Alternative site name(s)
Con Son, Poulo Condore
Ba Ria-Vung Tau
8o37' – 8o48'N, 106o32' – 106o45'E
From Vung Tau City
Trekking, Bird watching, Snorkeling, Scuba diving and watching
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Topography and hydrology
Con Dao National Park is centred on an
archipelago of 14 islands, the largest of which is Con Son.
The topography of Con Son island is mountainous, and dominated
by a granite ridge, which runs from south-west to north-east,
sheltering the bays on both sides of the island from strong
winds. The highest points on the island are the summits
of Mount Thanh Gia and Mount Chua, at 577 and 515 m respectively.
The smaller islands reach a maximum elevation of 200 m.
There are no permanent watercourses on any of the islands
of the Con Dao archipelago, only seasonal
streams. In the rainy season, water is plentiful but, in
the dry season, there is a serious lack of water. Three
reservoirs collect water during the rainy season to supply
the local population during the dry season.
The Con Dao archipelago is located on
the boundary between two sea currents: a warm one from the
south, and a cold one from the north.
Con Son island and many of the other islands of the archipelago
are extensively forested. According to the revised investment
plan, the national park supports 4,905 ha of forest, equivalent
to 81% of the total terrestrial area. To date, 882 vascular
plant species have been recorded at the national park, including
91 species of medicinal plant. One outstanding feature of
Con Dao's flora is the 44 plant species
that were discovered for the first time on the islands.
A number of these species are named after the site, including
Dipterocarpus condorensis, Ilex condorensis, Pavetta condorensis
and Psychotria condorensis.
To date, 24 species of mammal, 69 species of bird and
42 species of reptile and amphibian have been recorded at
the national park. Although the number of species is relatively
low, the density of individual species is often high, and
there are a number of endemic taxa, including an endemic
subspecies of Black Giant Squirrel, Ratufa bicolor condorensis.
The bird fauna of Con Dao National Park
is not well studied. However, a number of bird species recorded
at Con Dao are not known from any other
site in Vietnam, including Nicobar Pigeon Caloenas nicobarica,
Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus, Pied Imperial
Pigeon Ducula bicolor and Masked Booby Sula dactylatra.
The marine ecosystems at the national park include mangroves,
coral reefs and seagrass beds. Mangroves cover a total of
15 ha, and are distributed around Ba island and along the
west coast of Bay Canh island, and along the north and south
coasts of Con Son island. The coral reefs at Con
Dao are among the most pristine in Vietnam, and
are distributed in shallow waters around the islands, covering
a total area of around 1,000 ha. The coral reefs support
high levels of biodiversity, including over 270 coral species.
Surveys conducted by Nha Trang Institute of Oceanography
have shown the presence of 1,323 species of marine fauna
and flora, including 44 species listed in the Red Data Book
of Vietnam. At 153 species, the recorded mollusc diversity
of Con Dao is the highest of any of Vietnam's offshore islands.
The national park supports around 200 ha of seagrass beds,
which support a small population of the globally threatened
marine mammal, Dugong, numbering around 12 individuals.
Con Dao National Park contains a number
of nesting beaches for Green Turtle Chelonia mydas and Hawksbill
Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata, two globally threatened marine
turtles. More than 250 females visit a total of 14 nesting
sites annually, forming over 1,000 nests. Nearly 80% of
the nesting takes place between June and September. Furthermore,
a number of cetaceans have been recorded in the marine component
of Con Dao National Park.
Other documented values
The Con Dao archipelago has historical
significance as the site of several prisons used by the
French colonial regime and South Vietnamese regime. Many
famous revolutionaries were imprisoned on the island prior
to 1975, and the site is considered a national memorial.
A 30 ha site incorporating the prisons has been formally
recognised as a national heritage site.
The Con Dao archipelago
has already been developed for tourism, which is now one
of the most important sectors of the islands' economy. There
is great potential to further develop ecotourism at the
national park, in the form of hiking, birdwatching, snorkeling,
diving and watching nesting turtles. Controlled and environmentally
sensitive ecotourism development has the potential to raise
awareness of conservation issues and generate revenue for
management of the national park.
The waters off the Con Dao archipelago
are an important fishery. Several marine products of high
economic value, such as groupers and giant clams, occur
in the area. The islands' mangroves are an important nursery
area for the fishery.
Con Dao National Park
Con Dao National Park is located in Con Dao District, Ba
Ria – Vung Tay Province in the South of Vietnam. It
is made up of 16 big and small islands and the territorial
waters around islands.
Total natural area of Con Dao National Park is about 19,990.7
ha including 5,990.7 ha of islands and 14,000 ha of water
area around the islands. There are two functional subdivisions
located in national forest including 4,272.7 ha strict protection
subdivision and 1,718 ha ecology rehabilitation subdivision.
The resources of flora and fauna in Con Dao National Park
are quite abundant and diverse. Vein flora system has 1.077
species from 640 lines, 60 families and 6 different branches.
Especially, there are 44 species with geographical names
as “Con Dao” such as Con Son Amoora poulocondorensis,
Con Son Psychotria condorensis, Con Son Dipterocarpus condorensis.
Three are 160 species of animals from 64 families, 32 groups,
4 classes including 29 species of mammals, 85 species of
birds, 38 species of reptiles and 8 species of amphibians.
In Con Dao National Park, 60 ha of coastal protection casuarinas
forest have been planted. 572 ha of reforestation have been
assigned to 4 collective units.
At present, Con Dao National Park has been under good
management, the protection capacity of forest has been promoted,
especially, the store of freshwater resource for the life
in island district has been maintained. With regards to
fire prevention and fighting issue in Con Dao National Park,
forest fire fighting force has been established with the
participation of local people in coordination with military
and public security force. Propaganda programs have been
carried out for local people and also introduced in schools
with the aim of improving the consciousness about forest
Regarding the task of reforestation and repairing the
damage caused by Linda hurricane 1997, the forest cover
has increased from 81.7% after the hurricane up to 86.8%
in 2005. According to casuarinas afforestation for coastal
protection forest, the sapling plants have grown well and
timely covered the space caused by the hurricane. The race
plants have grown rapidly, especially the seed reproduction
plants such as coastal casuarinas plants which are somehow
about 6-7m high.
Con Dao National Park has implemented 14 coordination researches
under 5 million ha afforestation Project which mainly concentrate
on rehabilitation of precious and rare animals and plants
such as: (1) Research on the method for rehabilitating Chukrasia
tabularis on the areas affected by the Lida hurricane in
1997, (2) Caring and monitoring the growth of segment fruit
plants in Hon Cau. (3) Survey on the quantity and varieties
of medicinal herbs, (4) Making survey and moving Cycas (thiên
tu?), (5) Survey on the distribution of Manikara hexandra
(Gang Néo). (6) Survey on bird species in Con Dao,
(7) Survey on Ratufa bicolor condorensis (Sóc Ðen)
in Con Dao, (8) Survey on Nicoba pigeon, (9) The program
on enticement and experimental breeding of Maccaca fascicularis
(Kh? duôi dài) (1O) Experimental breeding of
Gecko, (1 1) Experimental breeding of Callosciunis filaysoni
(Sóc Mun) (12) Breeding red-faced monkey (13) Planting
and taking care of some species of orchids, (14) Experimentally
raising the breeds of some medicinary herbs species. The
themes have made a great contribution to the preservation
of natural resources especially the precious and rare species,
and environment protection.
The experimental research program on rehabilitating Chukrasia
tabularis (Lát hoa Côn Ð?o) carried out
by Southern Sub-Institute for Forest Planning in co-ordination
with Con Dao National Park by applying natural regeneration
promotion method shows good result. From this program, it
is shown that Chukrasia tabularis A.Juss (Lát Hoa)
has grown very well. Especially, according to the result
of replanting method, the ratio of alive plants reaches
99% and they grow well. The ecological afforestation program
in So Ray area also has very good result. Total planting
forest area in this So Ray is 20ha with 17 species of endemic,
precious and rare plants and other fruit plants. Total number
of plants is 8.000 ones. The objective of this program is
to preserve gene resources of precious and rare plants in
Con Dao. Also, fruit plants will create food source for
The activities of forest protection and development in
2006 - 2010.
In the period of 2006 - 2010, the objective of management
task over forest protection in Con Dao National Park is
to invest in the following activities: to define and set
up landmarks for the national park; to invest in upgrading
protection station system and protection patrol ways; to
further invest in forest fire prevention and fighting equipments.
Beside, propaganda task will also be concentrated on.
With regards to ecological rehabilitation: assignment for
protection management will be carried out for 1.137 ha as
well as localization for rehabilitation in combination with
supplementary afforestation in poor area in ecological rehabilitation
sub-division which is 748 ha.
The scientific research programs include: following up,
monitoring the forest rehabilitation process; making research
on rehabilitation of precious and rare plants species; making
survey on the members and building sample insect class;
proposing the 5 Million Ha Afforestation Project in order
to support Con Dao National Park in building 3- region North,
Central, South orchard in Hang Duong Cemetery for collecting
wooden plant species originated from natural forests in
three regions. This will attach the value of forest resources
with Con Dao’s historical significance. This works
will have great significance in preserving and bringing
into play the cultural and historical value of Con Dao as
well as making contribution in protecting biodiversity and
Con Dao is one of the National Parks in Vietnam. Forest
resources in Con Dao National Park are not only diverse
in quantity, species but also have special characteristics
of island area. The project on forest protection and development
in Con Dao National Park in the period 2006-2010 under the
5 million ha afforestation project confirm again the significance
of biological resources in the forest as well as improve
the forest’s function in protecting, preserving environment.
This also makes contribution to preserving gene resources
of precious and rare fauna and flora, especially the species
originated from Con Dao.