Phu Quoc Flora and Fauna
There are 43 mammal, 119 species of birds, 47 species of reptiles, 14 species of amphibians, 125 species of fish, 132 species of mollusc and 62 species of sea weed. Interestingly enough, Phu Quoc is also one of the two places in Vietnam where the Dugong, a marine species on the brink of extinction can be found.
Some of the animals you may see on Phu Quoc Island include:
- Sea Eagle
- Slow loris
- Silver Langur
- Monitor lizard
- Wild pig
- Ridgeback Dog
- Sea Cow
- Sea horse
- Giant flying fox bat
- Phu Quoc Dog
- Flying Squirrel
- Hawksbill Turtle
- and others
*Sea turtles used to be common in the waters around the Phu Quoc islands in the past, mainly hawksbill, Eretmochelys impricata and green turtle, Chelonia mydas.
Phu Quoc Plants
There are 1,164 green plant species, belonging to 137 families and 531 genera.
Seagrass beds in this area are the largest in extent in Vietnam with 9 species recorded. This habitat is considered important not only for the livelihood of local communities but also since it harbors significant biodiversity and supports populations of migratory endangered species.
Seagrass bed distribution
The shallow waters around the islands with sand, muddy sand, gravel substrata support development of extensive seagrass beds. Seagrass beds are found abundantly in the littoral and sub littoral of the coastal waters of the northern area (from Rach tram to Ganh dau), along the eastern coastal waters (from Mui duong, Bai thom, Xa luc, Bai bon, Ham Ninh, Bai vong, Mui Chua hamlets) and the south-eastern part (An thoi). The total area of seagrass beds is estimated about 13,000ha.
A total of 98 species in 51 genera of marine algae have been recorded in the waters of Phu Quoc islands. The dominant phyla were Rhodophyta (62 species) and Chlorophyta (16 species). The Phaeophytes Turbinaria decurrens, T. furcigera, the Rhodophytes Gelidium pusillum, Ceramium gracillium, the Cyanophyte Lyngbya martensiana and coralline algae Amphiroa fragillissima, Jania ungulata f. brevior, Lithophyllum samoense were most common. Numbers of species of algae per site
varied widely from 8 (Hon Mong Tay) to 49 species (Bai Thom).
About 155 medicinal plant species has been identified, including 34 plant species for tonic medicine, and 11 species used in curing serious diseases; along with them are 23 species of Orchids including a new species for Vietnam named Podochilus tenius.
Coral Reefs of Phu Quoc
Coral reef communities occur in patches around most of the islands in An Thoi area and some locations around Phu Quoc, the biggest island. The corals grow directly on native rock bed stretching from the islands. Fringing coral reefs mainly occur on the west and southwestern part of Phu Quoc and most of the smaller islets. In general the structure of the reefs in this area can be divided into three different zones:
Based on the scale and distribution of coral reefs around the islands, the area of coral reefs can be roughly estimated ca. 600 ha. There are currently 108 species of corals, 135 species of coral reef fish, 3 types of migrating fish, 132 types of molluscs and 6 types of marine mammals living in Phu Quoc sea area.
The area supports 89 species in 37 genera of scleractinian corals, 1 Hydrozoan and 19 soft and gorgonian corals. Several species are yet to be confirmed and may be new records to the list of corals in Viet Nam. Acropora, Montipora, Porites and Pavona are the dominant genera at most site.
Coral species distribution
- Hon Roi: Porites, Acropora, Montipora, Fungia
- Hon Dam Ngang: Porites, Pavona, Montipora, Fungia
- Hon Mong Tay: Porites, Pavona, Montipora, Pocillopora
- Hon Dam: Acropora, Porites, Montipora
- S. Hon Vong: Acropora, Montipora, Pavona, Porites
- N.W. Hon Vong: Porites, Pavona, Acropora, Montipora
- Hon Vang: Porites, Montipora, Pocillopora, Acropora
- Hon May Rut: Sinularia, Acropora, Sarcophytum, Pocillopora
- Hon Dua: Turbianria, Porites, Montipora, Sarcophytum
- N.W. Hon Thom: Porites, Acropora, Turbinaria, Montipora
- Hon Gam Gi: Porites, Sarcophytum, Acropora, Pavona
- N.W. Bai Thom: Porites, Acropora, Montipora, Fungia
Within the zone, the west of Hon Thom and Ganh Dau communes are affected by the highest coverage of coral bleaching, with around 90 per cent. In the core areas of Hon Vong, Gam Ghi and Hon Xuong, 20-40 per cent are affected. In general, condition of the reefs in Phu Quoc Island is still not bad with mean coral cover ranging from fair to good.
Reef area and reef structure
The morphology and profile of coral reefs in Phu Quoc waters varies considerably. The 20m bathymetric contour runs along the western shoreline of the islands while the eastern parts of most islands are steep hills. The bottom topography in the southern island group is irregular with a very deep strait (60 m) between Phu Quoc and Hon Dua Island. On the western sides, native rock blocks are found on the sea bottom to a depth of 5-7 m beyond which are gentle slopes often of gravel, coral debris, littoral materials and occasionally muddy sand.
Coral Reef Animals
Molluscs or Mollusks
Up to present, some 132 species in 83 genera from 35 families of reef-associated macro-molluscs were recorded in Phu Quoc waters.
There are 9 species in 4 genera of crustaceans recorded at Phu Quoc islands. Among them, 4 species of lobsters including Panulirus ornatus, P. homarus, P. longipes and P. versicolor are commercially important species.
A total of 32 species in 23 genera of 15 families of echinoderms are found in Phu Quoc. Of these, the family Holothuriidae was the most abundant.
Mackerels and tunas waters surrounding the islands Hon Dam Ngang, Hon Mong Tay, Hon Vong, Hon May Rut, Hon Kim Quy (An Thoi area) at specific periods of the year.
Coral reef fish
Some 135 species of reef associated fishes, in 60 genera from 27 families, were recorded at the Phu Quoc islands. The abundance of ornamental fishes such as damsel fish and wrasses was high in some areas around the island. Groupers and snappers were recorded at low numbers while parrot fish occurred with higher numbers on most of the reefs.