Exploring Vietnam: Our Global Discovery Expedition’s Success

Traversing along the northern flank of a ridge of mountains along the Vietnamese border with Laos, the Global Discovery Expeditions team completed its first exploration of Vietnam’s plants and wildlife. The constant rainfall and hot weather did not deter the team from a successful mission.

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During the 10-day expedition, the group identified and recorded countless species including snakes, frogs, and insects in the country that World Wildlife Fund says is, incredibly, home to 16% of the world’s plant and animal species.

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In fact, Vietnam is considered one of the 16 most biodiverse countries in the world and is home to 13,000 species of land-based plants, more than 10,000 species of land-based animals, 39 types of wetlands, 20 marine ecosystems, and more than 11,000 marine species.  

Each member of the group, consisting of fourteen scientists from Vietnam and the U.S., brought a specific field of expertise with them so that all species encountered were properly identified during the expedition.

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While in the field, the camp had an exciting visitor - a Pygmy Slow Loris

A species endangered due to habitat loss and the illegal pet trade, with the latter growing in recent years due to the Loris’s looks and popularity on social media. This video is the closest that this animal will allow our experts to come, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to capture the encounter on film!  

The expedition team spent a fascinating time focused on bats in the area including the Harlequin bat. Bats across the globe play an essential role in ecosystems by providing pest control, plant pollination, and seed dispersal so understanding the local bat population is extremely helpful in our work. 

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Collection and compilation of the data and records made on this expedition will be entered into a public database used to educate the public and implement conservation activities and protections. The goal of the program is to provide the baseline data to preserve these key habitats in Vietnam and the many threatened plant and animal species that inhabit them. Look for more exciting updates and species spotlights from the expedition!