Through the Lens: Capturing Vietnam's Dong Son-Ky Thuong Nature Reserve

The Greater Good Charities Global Discover Expedition team recently returned from a ten-day trip to the Dong Son-Ky Thuong Nature Reserve. The poor weather and lack of sunshine did not deter the team from exploring and documenting Vietnam’s extraordinary plants and wildlife.

See the trip through their eyes.

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The team's base camp was seven miles into the jungle from the nearest town. Most of the gear was brought in by motorbikes or carried on their backs. They camped alongside the Binh Huong River, which in Vietnamese means "peaceful perfume."

The area was used for logging before being turned into a nature reserve 15 years ago. Due to its history, there were very few old trees in the survey area. Despite that, it remains an evergreen tropical rainforest with broad-leaved trees surrounded by mid-elevation mountains.

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Each morning, team members started the day by photographing and identifying species that had been captured the day before. The team took a total of 6,100 photos during their six days in the field. The team used mist nets and harp traps for bats, Sherman traps for small mammals, nets to trap local fish, and camera traps to photograph all species. Each afternoon and evening, the team took a walkabout to continue studying and researching the survey area's flora and fauna.

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During one of the night surveys, they heard a frog call from a bamboo thicket just as they were heading back to camp. Looking around, they could not locate the frog but noticed a lime-green snake in the bamboo about 25 feet above their heads. They recognized it as an Asian vine snake and knew it was safe to catch. They had to act quickly to photograph it before it got away. Thankfully, they were able to use the bamboo to capture and photograph it safely.

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The content collected on this expedition will be entered into a database to educate the public and implement conservation activities and protections around the world.

Help Greater Good Charities document and protect the environment by donating to support this important research.

Greater Good Charities has ultimate authority and discretion with regard to the distribution of its funds. All expenditures made are consistent with the exempt purposes of Greater Good Charities.