Characterised by dramatic hills and caves that have been carved out through erosion over millennia, limestone landscapes – also known as karst – form some of the most breathtaking vistas on our planet. The often isolated nature of these unique features, and the extreme soil and water conditions found within them, have created the perfect recipe for a highly biodiverse landscape, rich in endemic species that are unique to the area.
And what species they are.
The steep, inaccessible nature of karst landscapes means that many limestone hills have retained their forest cover, even while the surrounding areas have been deforested. As a result, these striking towers act as natural refuges for species that have been wiped out from much of their range, such as the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey, cao vit gibbon and Delacour’s langur in Vietnam, the last of which has specially adapted pads on its hand, feet and rump to allow it to run, jump and sit on the razor-sharp limestone.