Yok Don National Park (photo: Vo Anh Tu)

Geographic location, boundary: Yok Don National Park is one of biggest specialized forests in Vietnam, belongs to 2 provinces Dak Nong and Dak Lak, a minor part in Dak Wil village, Cu Jut district. Yok Don is located at low plateau stretching from Cambodia to the north of Dak Lak and the south of Gia Lai, Viet Nam. Most of terrain is flat; with elevation is about 200m. However, there are 02 low mountain ranges in national park, the highest point is Yok Don mountain of 482 m at southeast of national park.

Geographic coordinate: From 12045’ to 13010’ at north latitude and from 107029’30” to 10704830 at East longitude.

Historical Formation:

  • Year 1986, Ministry of Forestry promulgated Decision on establishing Yok Don forbidden forest;
  • Year 1990, Yok Don is recognized as Natural Reserve (NR);
  • Year 1992, it is changed from Yok Don Natural Reserve to Yok Don National Park according to Decision No. 301/TCCB of Ministry of Forestry

Area: The South of national park belongs to Dak Wil village with area of 42.14 ha, flat terrain, elevation is about 200m. However, there are 02 low ridges in national park, the highest point is Yok Don Mountain of 482m at southeast of national park.  

Biodiversity of Yok Don National Park:

Diversity of ecosystem: In region of Yok Don National Park, there are both natural ecosystem and artificial ecosystem. Therein, natural ecosystem accounts for more than 85 percent, mainly broadleaf evergreen natural forestry ecosystem, broadleaf half drop natural forestry ecosystem and broadleaf drop natural forestry ecosystem. The Dry dipterocarp Forest ecosystem is feature of this national park, mainly distributed in boundary between Vietnam and Cambodia. It is unique nation park in Vietnam to preserve this special forest.

Diversity of vegetation species: According to research result, flora is mainly Taxon of Magnoliophyta, accounts for 93.2 percentages of families, 97.6 percentages of genera and 98.8 percentages of species; therein Magnoliopsida is the most popular, with 559 species belongs to 283 genera and 101 families.

In total of 108 vegetation families, there are 16 families with more than 10 species, including Ricinus (Euphorbiaceae): 50 species; Coffee (Rubiaceae): 40 species; Bean (Fabaceae): 35 species; Chrysanthemum (Asteraceae): 24 species; O ro (Acanthaceae) and Rice (Poaceae): 14 species; Apitong (Dipterocarpaceae): 13 species; Custard-apple (Annonaceae) and Caesalpiniaceae: 12 species; Mint families (Lamiaceae), Verbena (Verbenaceae): 11 species; Anacardiaceae, Combretaceae and Cyperaceae: 10 species.

Scientific value: There are 14 rare and precious species in Vietnam Red Book (1996) that need to be protected, among them, there are 07 species in Vulnerable level (V: Vulnerable), 01 species in threatened level (T: Threatened), 06 species in Insufficiently know level (K: Insufficiently know).

Usable value: There are 227 wood species, lot of them have high economic value as Dalbergia, D. cochinchinensis, afzelia xylocarpa, pterocarpus macrocarpus, sindora siamensis, xylia xylocarpa, hopea odorata, shorea siamensis, S. obtuse… Moreover, there are 116 medicinal species, 35 ornamental species and another resource value as providing materials for knit, handicraft and food…

Origin: Yok Don flora is associated with Malaysia, Indonesia flora that is represented by representatives of Dipterocarpaceae and Burmese flora with representatives of Combretaceae

Diversity of animal species: Due to characteristic of the Dry dipterocarp Forest ecosystem and flat terrain condition, the fauna property is special. Research results of fauna from 1991 showed that Yok Don National Park has 384 vertebrate animal species, among them 70 beasts, 250 birds, 48 reptiles and 16 amphibian species

The beast: Currently, 70 species has been recorded, 30 species are written in Vietnam Red Book and 17 species in the IUCN Red list (IUCN 2000). The beast here is characterized by abundance of ungulate. The significant and important species for conservation are elephant, tiger, gaur and bison.

The bird: According to investigation results of the Forest Inventory and Planning Institute (2001) and additional investigation of Bird Life (2002), the bird in Yok Don has 250 species, 20 species are written in Vietnam Red Book (2009), 09 endemic species and 1 limited distribution. The global threatened species are Polyplectron germaini, Pavo muticus, Anorrhinus tickelli, Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus, Butastur liventer, Polihierax insignis, Leptoptilos javanicus…

Picidae has 13 amongst 23 species of Vietnam; Megalaimidae has 65 amongst 100 species of whole country; Psittacidae has 04 amongst 06 species of whole country. Parrot Psittacula eupatria is the biggest amongst parrots of Vietnam, only distributed in dry dipterocarp forest. It is similar to Polihierax insignis that is distributed only in the dry dipterocarp forest and found in some regions in whole country.

The Reptiles, frogs: The investigation results of the Forest Inventory and Planning Institute (2001) and additional investigation (2002) pointed 48 reptile species belongs to 17 families, 4 sets and 16 frog species belongs to 4 families, 1 set; amongst them, 16 species (accounts for 29.6 percentage of number of species) which are written in Vietnam Red Book (2000); 2 species (accounts for 3.7 percentage of number of species) at threatened level E (Endangered); 9 species (accounts for 16.6 percentage of number of species) at threatened level V (Vulnerable); 5 species (accounts for 9.2 percentage of number of species) at threatened level T (Threatened). The insects: There are 437 species of 83 families, 11 set. In the Lepidoptera, it is clearly recorded about Microlepidoptera. Similar to bird, butterfly is one of species that indicates biodiversity. The diversity of butterfly affirms the biodiversity of Yok Don National Park.