Hoi An Ancient Town



Among few of islands in Vietnam, the Cham Islands still retain a large vegetation cover. The tropical broad-leaved forest occupies the largest area. It is only distributed from 50 metres to 500 metres in height. There are many valuable woods such as Sindora maritima, Olea Europeae, ironwood,…
        Besides timber, there are many secondary forest products such as rattan, medicinal plants, trees for building materials,… The eastern side of the island is a steep slope with almost no topsoil, but there is a composition of brushwood and grass with kinds such as Sideroxylon, Dracaena cambodiana and hard grass. Hon Dai Island is an interesting ecological place for tourists. They can walk, relax or look at the Cycas revoluta with 2-3 metres high and strange shapes. The flora of Cham Islands below 100 metres includes 499 species belonging among 352 genera and 115 families of 5 high level flora divisions. The Cham Islands’ vegetation is the valuable natural resources which contribute to making an ecotourism environment.
        Thanks to vegetation cover being quite prolific, it is the main habitat for many kinds of animals. However, due to many causes, there are now only 12 animals species, 13 bird species, 130 reptile species and 5 batrachian species. Notably, among them are the Crab-eating (long-tailed) macaque and salangane being listed in the Vietnam Red Book.

Dong vat 1      Dong vat
        Taken shape on the intertidal zone with size of rock 1000-2000 millimeters and larger, alternated between rock area and cobble-gravel-grit mainly distribute in sunken areas or deep cleared areas. The intertidal zones distribute on Northeast of Cham Islands and surrounding islets. Here is also place which distribute creature systems of rocky intertidal zone. Especially, precious specialities such as Vu nang snail, Vu sao snail (Cellana), Strombidae, Naticidae and Babylonia areolata.
Bai trieu da

        According to research results from 1994 to now, there are 947 creature species living in water around the island. Among them are 178 species of coral reef fish in 80 genera and 32 families; 122 species of seaweed, 215 species of  phytoplankton; 87 species of zooplankton; 135 coral species belonging among 35 genera, 144 species of mollusc, 25 species of crustacean, 21 species of echinoderm, 21 species of worm. At night, fishing lights on the sea spreading like a glittering and colourful floating city make an impression on anybody who wants to risk going off to the high seas with the fishermen to catch together.

        Coral reefs are specific characteristics of tropical seas and that is also the typical point of Cham Islands. The North of Hon Kho, Hon La, Hon Tai and Lime Tree Creek – Northwest Hon Mo are the richest places of coral species. One of the highlights in this zone is scaled between hard coral and soft coral not much differences. There are more than 261 species belonging among 59 genera and 15 hard coral families, 15 species belonging among 11 genera and 6 soft coral families, 3 species of hydra coral, 1 species of blue coral, and 2 species of spiny coral. These coral reefs grow very slowly, on average from 5 to 15 millimeters per year. 



      About 200 fish species belonging among 85 genera and 36 families have been identified in the coral reefs of Cham Islands and the surrounding islands. Pomacentridae family (39 species), Labridae family (33 species), Chaetodontidae family (19 species) are quite abundant. Acanthuridae family (12 species), Scaridae family (12 species), Siganidae family (6 species), Serranidae family (6 species), Lutjanidae family (6 species) are quite common. Some of fish species with food value are identified such as Siganidae, Serranidae, Lutjanidae, Lethrinidae, Plectorhynchus picus. Most of the main coral reef fish groups are for food or aquarium fish. Coral reef fish species belonging among Pterophyllum genus are not common and very rare. But Pomacentridae family and Labridae family appear in quite high numbers in most coral reefs.

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       There are four acknowledged species of seagrass in seagrass beds of the Cham Islands. Grasses distribute on the west bank of the island, in sandy areas. They mainly concentrate at Bai Bac, Bai Ong, Bai Chong, Bai Bim, Bai Huong and a small part of Bai Nan, from 2 meters to 10 meters in depth.
8/ mollusc
       Mollusc is the important group of bottom living creatures. Up to now, 84 mollusc species have been found, of which 66 Gastropod species live in coral reefs, belonging among 43 genera and 28 families. The class of Monoplacophora has 20 species divied into three main groups (rare group, food group, handicraft group). There are 34 bivalvia species with economic value, focusing on families of clam, Tridacna gigas, Mimachlamys, Arcidae, Veneridae. Tridacna gigas is common in coral reefs belonging to shallow water area. Pinctada margaritifera is abundant in deep water coral reefs.


9/ crustacean
       there are 11 crustacean species with economic value living around the Cham Islands. They concentrate in two main groups, including 3 species of prawn, 4 species of sea lobster and a species of crab found in coral reefs. They bring significant economic benefit for the local fishermen, of which Panulirus ornatus (tropical rock lobster) is considered an important species for its food and aquaculture demands.

ghe      Lobster

Source: Hoi An Center for Cultural Heritage Management and Preservation

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