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more country guides More Vietnam travel guides Country Guides > Vietnam National Parks > North Western >

Sop Cop Nature Reserve

Alternative site name(s)
Sop Cop-Song Ma
Son La
27,886 ha
20o56' – 21o07'N, 103o29' – 103o42'E
From Hanoi
Not available

Topography and hydrology

Sop Cop Nature Reserve is located in Song Ma district in the mountainous north-west of Vietnam. The topography of the nature reserve is steep and mountainous, and elevations range from c.450 to 1,940 m. The nature reserve is drained by tributaries of the Ma river.

Biodiversity values

Remote sensing data indicate that the natural vegetation at Sop Cop Nature Reserve has been extensively cleared and replaced by scrub. However, it appears that areas of evergreen forest still remain at high elevations.

The fauna of Sop Cop Nature Reserve was previously very rich, and the site supported a high diversity and abundance of large mammal species, including, in the 1950s, a species of rhinoceros. However, faunal diversity at the site has decreased in recent years as a result of poor management. For instance, while, in 1975, the site was reported to support about 77 Asian Elephants Elephas maximus, this figure had declined to 17 by 1986 and only three by 1997. A similar decline has been reported for Gaur Bos gaurus at the site

Other documented values

Forest at Sop Cop Nature Reserve protects the catchments of streams that provide local communities with water for irrigation and domestic use.

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