Ca Mau National Park
Alternative site name(s)
Bai Boi, Ca Mau, Dat Mui, Duoc Ca Mau, Ong Trang, Tam Giang,
8o32' – 8o49'N, 104o40' – 104o55'E
From Ho Chi Minh City
Bird watching. Contact
us for more information.
Topography and hydrology
Mui Ca Mau National Park is situated at
the southernmost tip of Vietnam. The site was originally
covered in natural mangrove forest but the vast majority
was destroyed during the Second Indochina War and, later,
by conversion to aquacultural ponds and agricultural land.
Most of the aquacultural ponds have been abandoned, and
now support extensive areas of re-colonising mangrove forest.
There are extensive mudflats, which are also being colonised
naturally by mangrove. The site is continually growing due
to accretion rates along the coastline of up to 50 m per
year in places.
The site is bisected by the Lon river, in the mouth of
which two islands (Con Trong and Con Ngoai) have been formed
by the accretion of sediment. To the north of the site is
the estuary of the Bai Hap river, one of the largest rivers
in Ca Mau province.
Mui Ca Mau National Park contains extensive
areas of intertidal mudflat, and large areas of mangrove
forest, dominated by Avicennia alba, A. officinalis, A.
marina, Rhizophora apiculata and Kandelia candel. Also,
Bruguiera sp. and Sonneratia sp. occur sporadically.
Some small areas of old growth Rhizophora apiculata mangrove
remain at Mui Ca Mau. This vegetation type probably covered
much of the area in the past. Evidence of over-exploitation
is abundant, with many old logged bases of large Rhizophora
apiculata trees present. There are still some big trees
over 10 years old, though generally the habitat is degraded.
Signs of mangrove forest regeneration, however, have been
observed at Mui Ca Mau. There are also
extensive Rhizophora apiculata plantations at the national
park, the stocking density of which varies from one to six
trees per square metre.
Mui Ca Mau National Park is considered to be an important
site for a number of migratory waterbirds. Globally threatened
and near-threatened migratory waterbird species recorded
at the site include Far Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascariensis,
Asian Dowitcher Limnodromus semipalmatus, Chinese Egret
Egretta eulophotes, Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala,
Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis and Black-headed
Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus. In addition, large concentrations
of Eurasian Curlew N. arquata have been recorded at the
site. Consequently, Mui Ca Mau contains two Important Bird
Areas: Dat Mui and Bai Boi.
The habitats of particular importance for migratory waterbirds
at Mui Ca Mau include exposed mud, and remnant and regenerating
mangrove forest. As intertidal habitats are rapidly accreting,
the site will continually enlarge, and its importance as
a site for migratory waterbirds may increase.
The mangrove bird community at Mui Ca Mau is dominated
by common mangrove species, including Ashy Tailorbird Orthotomus
ruficeps, Golden-bellied Gerygone Gerygone sulphurea, Oriental
White-eye Zosterops palpebrosa and Pied Fantail Rhipidura
Other documented values
The mangroves at Mui Ca Mau perform an
important coastal protection function, which is why there
has been a strong emphasis on coastal protection in the
management of the site to date. The national park also has
high potential for recreation, ecotourism, conservation
education and scientific research. Although present visitor
use of the national park is low, visitor numbers are likely
to increase in the future. One attraction to visitors is
the fact that Mui Ca Mau is the southernmost tip of mainland