Mui Ca Mau

©Wikimedia Commons/Tango7174
Cuu Long River

The Mui Ca Mau Biosphere Reserve is located in the southernmost tip of Viet Nam. It borders the East Sea to the east and the Gulf of Thailand to the south and the west. The area boasts beautiful land and seascapes and a high biodiversity of marine areas and peat swamp wetlands. The reserve also constitutes a transition area (ecotone) between mangrove and Melaleuca forests, which heightens its conservation value, and serves as a reproduction and breeding area for aquatic species.

Designation date: 2009
Administrative authorities: People Committee of Ca Mau Province.
Surface area (terrestrial and marine): 371,506 ha
Core area(s): 17,329 ha (terrestrial: 14,773 ha; marine: 2,556 ha)
Buffer zone(s): 43,309 ha (terrestrial: 8,775 ha; marine: 34,534 ha)
Transition area(s): 310,868 ha (terrestrial: 94,688 ha; marine: 216,180 ha)

08°25’45”N – 09°26’02”N
Longitude: 104°32’19”E – 105°05’09”E
Midpoint: 08°55’54”N – 104°48’43”E

Ecological Characteristics

©Wikimedia Commons/Muhammad Mahdi Karim
Crab-eating macaque (Macaca fascicularis)

The area is linked to many rivers and waterways leading to the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Thailand. These rivers receive alluvium from Cuu Long River, deposited mostly on the northwest side by sea currents, where it accumulates creating foundations for the development of mangrove forests.

The Mui Ca Mau Biosphere Reserve hosts a rich and varied biodiversity resulting from three types of ecosystem: marine, mangrove and a closed tropical rainforest ecosystem. Characteristic species include Bui (Ilex cymosa), Mop (Alstonia spathulata), Melaleuca forest (Melaleuca cajeputi), three-leave Dau dau (Euodia lepta) and Tram (Syzygium cinereum).

Due to its rich biodiversity many different species can be found in the area. These include the lesser short-nosed fruit bat (Cynopterus brachyotis), crab-eating macaque (Macaca fascicularis), lesser adjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus), painted stork (Mycteria leucocephala) and spot-billed pelican (Pelacanus philippinensis).

Socio-Economic Characteristics

©Wikimedia Commons/HaMinh 1997
Cape Ca Mau, the southernmost point of Viet Nam

About 20 ethnic groups inhabit the area the majority of which belong to the Kinh (more than 95%). Other groups include the Khmer and Hoa-Chinese. Major economic activities are agriculture, aquaculture, fishery and tourism.

Over 40 relics have been found in the Mui Ca Mau area. Several of these have become tourist attractions including the Quan Am Co Tu and Hung Quang pagodas and the Tan Hung temple. Another attraction is the Ca Mau floating market, situated in the middle of Ca Mau city on the Ganh Hao River. Hundreds of boats sell and buy fresh agricultural products daily from across the region at this crowded market.

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                                                                                             Last updated : July 2011

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