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sadfasTourist > Famous Landscape > Cat Tien National Park
Cat Tien National Park 

1. Overview

The park lies 150km northeast of Ho Chi Minh City and 40km south of Buon Ma Thuot and straddles the border of three provinces – Lam Dong, Dong Nai and Binh Phuoc. It is an important national park located. It has an area of about 720 km² and protects one of the largest areas of lowland tropical rainforests left in Vietnam.

Unique terrain, climate and the ability to accommodate five types of forests are factors that have made Cat Tien National Park the home of a diverse range of plants and species. The Park is a range that links two types of terrains: from South Truong Son highland to the South Delta, making it rich in biodiversity resources including forest ecosystems, flora, fauna, which is characteristic of Southeast Delta ecosystems.

2. History

- On 13/01/1992, Chairman of the Council of Ministers (now the Government) has issued decision No. 08-CT to establish the Cat Tien National Park.

- On 16/02/1998 The Prime Minister has issued Decision No. 38/1998/QD-TTg to transfer the management of the Cat Tien National Park to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, with 73.878ha area, on the basis of merging Cat Tien National Park in Dong Nai province, Cat Loc Nature Reserve in Lam Dong province and the West Cat Tien Conservation Area in Binh Phuoc province.

- On 10/11/2001, Cat Tien has been declared by UNESCO to be Biosphere Reserve No. 411 of the world and is the second biggest biosphere reserve in Vietnam.

- On 04/08/2005 the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention has included the Bau Sau wetland system in the list of wetlands with international importance, position no.499.

- According to a review of forests and forest land in 2006 of South Delta Forest Investigation and Planning Institute, the area of Cat Tien National Park is now 71.350ha

3. Cat Tien area

In the 2nd century AD the Cat Tien area was a religious centre of the Funan empire, and ancient Oc-Eo cultural relics have been discovered in the park. Cat Tien was hit hard by defoliants during the American War, but the large old-growth trees survived and the smaller plants have recovered. Just as importantly, the wildlife has made a comeback and in 2001 Unesco added Cat Tien National Park to its list of biosphere reserves. Since then, infrastructure has improved markedly with decent overnight options. It’s worth spending at least two full days here, if possible.

4. Objectives and Functions

Cat Tien National Park belongs to Vietnam’s nature reserve, with the aim of maintaining the biodiversity systems that nature has bestowed upon the country.

Community education

To raise awareness, through awareness raising and education activities, about forest management and protection for the community, such as organizing conferences, issuing awareness raising materials to distribute to the people, education in schools, organizing contests on knowledge of forest protection and environmental protection.

Patrol and inspection

To maintain regular forest patrols to prevent forest violations; the patrols focus on hot spots, identify key problems as well as specific solutions.

Coordination with local authorities, police, courts, institutes of investigation

To regularly coordinate with the local government to organize patrols, handle violations, and to hold mobile trials in order to deter and educate the violators.

Improved of living standard for local people

In parallel with the measures to handle violations according to law, the Park has shown its interest in creating jobs and income generation through incentive schemes in reforestation, planting of fruit trees, and building infrastructure such as: irrigation, roads, schools, building and transferring agricultural models, providing new seeds, contracting of forest protection, developing tourism with the participation of the community, and recovering traditional weaving skills for the Ma and Stieng ethnic communities on the buffer zone.

5. The flora

Lists of the plants in Cat Tien National Park have now been identified with 1610 species of 724 genera, 162 families and sub-families, 75 classes of vascular plants, with the dominant species being from the Dipterocarpaceae, Fabaceae and Lythraceae families. Some rare species in the IUCN Red Book can be named such as Afzelia xylocarpa, Sindora siamensis, Dalbergia bariensis, D. cochinchinensis, Dalbergia mammosa, Pterocarpus macrocarpus...

Flora in Cat Tien National Park is divided into five main forest types:

- Broad-leaf evergreen forest: mainly composed of Dipterocarpaceae, Fabaceae such as Dipterocarpus alatus, Dipterocarpus intricatus, Dalbergia bariensis, Dalbergia mammosa, Afzelia xylocarpa, and Pterocarpus macrocarpus.

- Broad-leaf forests/semi-evergreen: composed of species which are deciduous during the dry season such as, Lagerstoemia calyculata, Tetrameles nudiflora, and Anogeissus acuminata.

- Mixed forests of wood and bamboo: this is a revegetated forest of evergreen and semi- evergreen trees due to fire, toxic chemicals, canopy opened and bamboo introduced forest. The common species are Mesua sp., Lagerstoemia calyculata and the two main bamboo species are Bambusa procera and Gigantochloa sp.

- Pure bamboo forest: this is also secondary forest, which was caused by number of factors including, deforestation for cultivation, abandonment, and species invasion from bamboo.

- Wetland vegetation: the dominant vegetation are comprised of water-resistant species such as Colona sp., Barringtonia racemosa, and mixed with Erianthus arundinaceus and Saccharum spontaneum.

6. Fungus

Research results have shown that Cat Tien National Park has 370 species of common fungi (Basidiomycetes), distributed in 128 genres.

Research results have shown that Cat Tien National Park has 370 species of common fungi (Basidiomycetes), distributed in 128 genres, 45 families and 22 classes. Out of them, 90 new species have been added, more than 20 new (or newly separated) genera: Aponoxa, Cyptotrama, Xeromphalina, Heimiomyces, Pulverolepiota, Mycolepdonoides, Lyophyllum, etc.

7. Fauna

Cat Tien National Park has a diverse and abundant faunal system in regards to the total number of species. It has species which are rare and valuable to conservation on an international level. The fauna of Cat Tien National Park is characteristic of fauna in the East Truong Son plains and has close ties with the Central Highlands.

Table: Statistics of fauna at Cat Tien National Park


Number of classes

Number of families

Number of species






























So far, research results have shown that Cat Tien has 113 mammal species, of 38 families and 12 classes. Among them, 43 species are threatened to extinction in the country and worldwide with 38 species listed in the Vietnam Red Book (2007). In addition, there are 18 species and subspecies endemic to the Indochina biogeographic sub regions and particularly three species and subspecies endemic to Vietnam, namely Pygathrix nigripes, Vietnam one-horn rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus annamiticus) and Muntiacus muntjak. The number of endemic species has enhanced the importance of Cat Tien National Park for the conservation of biodiversity in the country and the world.


The Park has 351 species of birds, belonging to 64 families, 18 classes. Among them, 17 species are rare and listed in the Vietnam Red Book. Compared with bird species composition in Vietnam, Cat Tien is a “miniature country’ of Vietnamese forest birds. Vietnam's birds include 19 classes, Cat Tien has 18 (94.74% of the total number of bird classes of Vietnam). Cat Tien has 64 families, accounting for 79.01% of Vietnam's bird families (81 families); with 351 bird species accounting for 42.39% of Vietnam's bird species (828 species). A number of rare bird species are in Cat Tien, such as Ciconia episcopus, Pavo muticus Imperator, Leptoptilos javanicus, Pseudibis davisoni, Cairina scutulata and Arborophila davidi.

Cat Tien National Park is located in the endemic bird area (EBA) in the lowlands of Southern Vietnam. It has populations of three species of endemic bird: Arborophila davidi, Polyplectron germaini, Macronous kelleyi.

Reptile and amphibian

There are 109 species of reptiles belonging to 17 families and subfamilies, 4 classes, including 18 species listed in Vietnam Red Book such as Crocodylus siamensis, Python reticulatus, and Python molurus.

There are 41 species of amphibians belonging to 6 families, 2 classes, among which 3 species are listed in Vietnam Red Book namely Megophrys longipes, Bufo galeatus, and Rana andersoni.


It has been documented that the park contains 756 species of insects, 68 families, in 10 classes. Particularly, the butterfly has 450 species, accounting for more than 50% of butterfly species recorded in Vietnam. There are 2 particularly rare butterfly species (the Vietnam Red Book 2007): Roides Helena Hephaestus and Pathysa antipathes.

Freshwater fish

The park has 159 species, 29 families, and 9 classes of fish. Among them, 1 species is in the Vietnam Red Book 2007 and IUCN Red Book 2008.

7. Contact Information

Cat Tien National Park

Ad: Tan Phu District, Dong Nai Province, Vietnam

Tel: + 84 - 61 – 3669228 - Fax: + 84 - 61 – 3669159



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Main responsible: Mr. Nguyen Viet Van - Director of Department of Information and Communications
Address: 36 Trần Phú, Ward 4,Da Lat city
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