Chu Yang Sin National Park’s Nature

Located in Lak and Krong Bong districts, Dak Lak province and about 60 km to the south-east of Buon Ma Thuot town. This is a mountainous area which gathers many springs of Dak Lak. It is considered to be a charming ecotourism center which is no less attractive than the York Don National Park.

The national park encompasses a range of high mountains in the northern part of the Southern Annamite mountains. The national park is centered on Mount Chu Yang Sin, which, at 2,442 m, being the highest point in the southern Annamites. The topography of the national park is characterized by steep slopes and narrow valleys.

The north of Chu Yang Sin National Park is drained by the Ea K’tour and Ea Krong Kmao springs, which flow north to join the Ea Krong Ana River. Streams in the south of Chu Yang Sin flow into the Krong No River. Both the Ea Krong Ana and Krong No rivers flow west and north before joining the Seropok River, a major tributary of the Mekong River.

At elevations below 800m, the national park supports lowland semi-evergreen forest, characterized by Lagerstroemia calyculata and Terminalia nigrovenulosa, and lowland evergreen forest, dominated by Hopea odorata, Dipterocarpus alatus and D. turbinatus.

Montane evergreen forest is widely distributed above 800m, and dominated by members of the Fagaceae and Lauraceae. Montane evergreen forest at Chu Yang Sin is also characterized by conifers, such as Pinus dalatensis, P. krempfii, P. kesiya var. langbianensis, Podocarpus imbricatus and Fokienia hodginsii. On mountain summits and ridge lines, elfin forest formations are distributed, dominated by Lyonia annamensis, L. ovalifolia and the dwarf bamboo Arundinaria sp. Coniferous forest, dominated by Pinus kesiya, occupies more than 10,600 ha of the national park. This is a secondary vegetation type that is formed in areas subject to periodic burning. A significant proportion of the national park supports bamboo forest, dominated by Oxytenanthera nigrociliata and Bambusa procera. Open secondary growth, scrub and grassland cover less than 1% of the total area of the national park.

Chu Yang Sin National Park is situated within the Da Lat Plateau Endemic Bird Area. Eight restricted-range bird species have been recorded at Chu Yang Sin: Germain’s Peacock Pheasant Polyplectron germaini, Grey-crowned Crocias Crocias langbianis, Black-hooded Laughingthrush Garrulax milleti, Collared Laughingthrush G. yersini, White-cheeked Laughingthrush Garrulax vassali, Short-tailed Scimitar Babbler Jabouilleia danjoui, Grey-faced Tit Babbler Macronous kelleyi and Yellow-billed Nuthatch Sitta solangiae. The most important of these species, from a conservation perspective, is Grey-crowned Crocias, which is endemic to the Da Lat plateau and classified as globally endangered. Chu Yang Sin qualifies as an Important Bird Area.

A total of 46 mammal species have been recorded at Chu Yang Sin. Mammals of particular conservation significance recorded at the site include Black-shanked Douc Pygathrix nigripes and Yellow-cheeked Crested Gibbon Hylobates gabriellae.

Chu Yang Sin National Park has an important role in protecting the watershed of the Srepok River. The national park also has potential for ecotourism development, although this is currently not realized.