Conservation of rare trees in northern Vietnam

In 2010, Global Trees Campaign surveys made some exciting finds in the remote limestone hills of northern Vietnam: several very rare magnolia species that were thought to occur only in southern China.  Through our partner in Vietnam, we are now working with communities and forest department staff in five high priority areas to protect and restore these severely threatened trees.

The karst limestone hills of northern Vietnam and southern China are home to a diverse array of unique wildlife. For over a decade, FFI has been working to protect unique primate and conifer species in this highly threatened area.

The discovery in 2010 of two highly threatened magnolias in Vietnam (Magnolia coriacea, and M. grandis), as well as several other less threatened or un-assessed species, underlined the importance of the landscape for tree diversity.

Magnolia megaphylla is one of the threatened species the project is targetting

Magnolia megaphylla is one of the threatened species the project is targetting

The area is under intense pressure from agriculture, however, and there is very limited knowledge or skills locally for tree conservation.

Starting in late 2013, the Global Trees Campaign is supporting our partner, the Centre for Plant Conservation (CPC), to work at five key sites. Mirroring an approach taken in FFI’s primate work, Community Tree Conservation Teams recruited from local villages are being set up at each site. These teams are involved in all project activities.

The Community Tree Conservation Teams and the local government Forest Department staff are receiving training in tree identification, monitoring, tree horticulture and planting out.

Surveys are being conducted at each site to locate and tag threatened trees. These trees will then be monitored regularly to increase their protection.

Interventions to promote tree growth and successful natural regeneration will be identified and implemented by the community teams.

Nurseries are being established to grow seedlings that will be planted out in degraded areas of forest, boosting numbers of these very rare trees.

The project team will also work in local communities to increase knowledge of, and pride in, these unique and very rare trees and raise awareness of the regulations about their protection.

Our aim is for these tree conservation activities to be integrated into the on-going work of the local Forest Department, securing the protection of these rare species into the future.

Did you know?

The Vietnamese golden cypress was discovered as a new species to science in 1999.