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Park managers worried over plans to exploit new cave

Managers at a national park in Hai Phong are concerned as the local government wants to exploit for tourism purposes a cave that is home to several wildlife species.

The Cat Hai District administration has proposed to the northern port city that the newly-discovered Qua Vang Cave in the middle of the Cat Ba national park is opened to tourists.

But managers of the park, which is recognized by UNESCO as a global biosphere reserve, have said the cave should be closed to tourists as it is now a haven for  53 chamois and white-head douc langurs.


In 2009, 20 white-head langurs were born in the cave, as recorded  by forest rangers and researchers.


Park managers are worried that tourism will damage the habitat of the animals and make it difficult for experts, local and international, who are trying to save several species of flora and fauna in the park.


The Qua Vang (Yellow Fruit) cave was discovered last December  and named after a large yellow fruit-shaped stalactite at its  entrance.


The cave, around 25-30 meters high, more than 30 meters wide  and nearly 100 meters deep, was found untouched by humans.


Many caves around the area have been opened to tourists, but they have not been managed effectively.


The park officials said Cat Hai authorities should focus on these caves instead of creating more jobs that will only damage the habitat of wild animals and the landscape of the park.


The Hai Phong People's Committee had recently also asked Cat Hai to give priority to nature preservation, and not to let short-term development shorten the life of Cat Ba Island.