On November 1, 2023 Assoc. Prof. Nikolay Simov, Assoc. Prof. Rostislav Bekchiev, Assoc. Prof. Mario Langourov from NMNHS-BAS and Assoc. Prof. Ivailo Dedov from IBER-BAS successfully returned to their native land after almost three weeks of joint work with Vietnamese colleagues from Hanoi Pedagogical University No2 Xuan Hoa, Nguyen Tat Thanh University, Ho Chi Minh City.
For the second time the scientists from BAS embarked on the study of the fauna in this part of Southeast Asia. The current expedition focused on the mountain ranges of northern Vietnam – the Tam Dao and Fansipan mountains, among others.
After the first survey expedition of the Bulgarian team in 2018, in the current survey the scientists expanded the set of research techniques and methods used to include specialized soil traps, “flight interception” traps and light traps.
The diverse zoological material collected gives the scientists hope for the presence of new to science species of animals as well as new to the fauna of Vietnam or the region. Of particular interest to our researchers are the species found at the highest point of Indochina as well as the naked snails of genera endemic to the Vietnamese mountains.
An important part of the visit of the Bulgarian scientists was the series of workshops and lectures they gave at the Institute of Ecology and Work Protection, Nguyen Tat Thanh University, Ho Chi Minh City and at the Industrial University of Ho Chi Minh City. The topics of the lectures were related to “Bulgarian-Vietnamese expeditions in forest ecosystems – results and opportunities for future cooperation” (Assoc. Prof. Rostislav Bekchiev); “Introduction to nature conservation – concepts, practices, problems and perspectives: the Bulgarian case study” (Assoc. Prof. Nikolay Simov); “Rose oil and Bulgarian rose: concept and possibilities for use in Vietnam” (Assoc. Prof. Mario Langourov); “Snail diversity as an opportunity for business development with pharmaceutical and food products” (Assoc. Prof. Ivailo Dedov).
The Bulgarian expedition and the representative of the hosts, Prof. Vu Manh from Nguyen Tat Thanh University were received at the diplomatic mission of the Republic of Bulgaria in Hanoi by the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Bulgaria to Vietnam, H.E. Mr. Pavlin Todorov. At the meeting, they discussed opportunities for cooperation in the field of education and training of PhD students as well as ideas for future joint research projects to study the flora and fauna of Vietnam, including through state-of-the-art methods, digitisation of collections and environmental monitoring.
Since their return, the scientists have continued their research work with the processing of the zoological samples collected in the laboratories of NMNHS-BAS and IBER-BAS which are to be published.
The scientific collaboration also continues thanks to the current Academic Cooperation and Exchange Agreement with Nguyen Tat Thanh University signed in May 2023. The research expedition is organised at the invitation of Professor Vu Manh (Vũ Quang Mạnh) and funded by Hanoi Pedagogical Universitу.