Flora, Fauna, and Birds of the Mekong Delta

22

Nov
2021

Flora, Fauna, and Birds of the Mekong Delta

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The rich soil and lush green habitat of the Mekong Delta is home to a wide variety of plant and animal species, with new ones still being discovered. Dense mangrove swamps and tropical forests cover a large portion of the delta, while a range of fruits, such as mangoes, papayas, and bananas, grow in abundance. Several types of orchids, both wild and cultivated, are common as well. The region is also part of the East Asia Flyover and lies along the path of many migratory birds, including species of storks and cranes, especially the rare red-headed crane, also known as the Sarus crane. The delta’s fauna includes wild boar, monkeys, and deer, as well as numerous snake and other reptile species.

Coconut Trees Lining Delta Waters

Among the most common and bountiful trees in the delta, coconut palms are an integral part of the region’s economy. The fruit and its oil is used extensively in Vietnamese food, while the trees’ long and strong leaves and branches are ideal for making roofs that often last for years.

Several colorful orchids are abundant in the delta. So many species exist that new ones are always being found. Botanists struggle to catalog them all.

Green bee-eaters, brightly colored birds with black beaks, nest in tunnels that they dig in the soft soil of the riverbank. They eat mostly bees and remove the sting by hitting the insect on hard ground.

The painted stork, a graceful and slender bird, is one of several rare varieties of stork that find safe refuge in the Mekong Delta’s many bird sanctuaries.

Many species of snake reside in the Mekong Delta, but the best known are the king cobra and giant python. They are sometimes raised on farms but often taken from the wild for consumption.

The crab-eating macaque, or Macaca fascicularis, eats fruits and plants in addition to crabs and insects. These monkeys have black fur at birth, which eventually changes to grey or reddish brown.

Crocodiles can be seen in the wild but, like snakes, they are farmed abundantly. This practice saves them from being hunted to extinction.

 

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