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It is BirdLife's vision that there be no loss of globally threatened or restricted-range bird species from Vietnam.
Vietnam's threatened bird species
For more information about globally threatened species in Vietnam, visit the online version of Threatened Birds of Asia: www.rdb.or.id
Worldwide, BirdLife is in the process of using threatened and restricted-range bird species, along with other criteria, to define a global network of Important Bird Areas or IBAs. IBAs are globally important sites for bird conservation.
The process to define IBAs in Vietnam began in January 2001. This process is centralising and standardising data on bird conservation in Vietnam, and identifying conservation priorities. Specifically, under-surveyed regions and habitat types are being indentified, and currently unprotected sites in need of conservation action are being highligted . In 2002, BirdLife and the Institute os Ecology and Biological Resources will publish a directory of IBAs in Vietnam, which will be used to advocate suitable conservation measures for all sites among government decision makers, donors and other conservation organisations.
Globally threatened species
Of the 33 globally threatened bird species in Vietnam, most are reasonably well represented with Vietnam's protected areas system. Therefore, if Vietnam's protected areas are well managed, most globally threatened species and their habitats will be well protected. However, there are a number of globally threatened species that, for reasons of their ecology or because of gaps in the current coverage, are not adequately represented within the current protected areas system. In order to overcome this problem, BirdLife has implemented a number of projects to focus on these species.
In 1998, BirdLife and the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources (IEBR) conducted a survey for Green Peafowl Pavo muticus in Dak Lak province, Vietnam. This was one of the few pieces of quantitative research to be conducted on a bird species in Vietnam. The results of the survey indicated that Green Peafowl was poorly represented within existing protected areas and recommended expanding Yok Don National Park to better protect this species.
Conserving Black-faced Spoonbills
The Annamese Lowlands EBA contains the global ranges of five species: Vietnamese Pheasant Lophura hatinhensis, Edwards's Pheasant L. edwardsi, Imperial Pheasant L. imperialis, Annam Partridge Arborophila merlini and Sooty Babbler Stachyris herbeti.
The Kon Tum Plateau EBA contains the global ranges of three species: Black-crowned Barwing Actinodura sodangorum, Golden-winged Laughingthrush Garrulax ngoclinhensis and Chestnut-eared laughingthrush Garrulax konkakinhensis.
The Da Lat Plateau EBA contains the global ranges of three species: Collared Laughingthrush Garrulax yersini, Grey-crowned Crocias Crocias langbianis and Vietnamese Greenfinch Carduelis monguilloti.
The Southern Vietnamese Lowlands EBA contains the global ranges of two species: Orange- necked Partridge Arborophila davidi and Germain's Peacock Pheasant Polyplectron germaini.
Surveys by BirdLife in the early 1990s rediscovered several restricted-range species that had gone unrecorded since their discovery in the first half of the 20th Century, such as Grey-crowned Crocias, Sooty Babbler and Imperial Pheasant. These rediscoveries were made during wider surveys of Vietnamese EBAs. These surveys revealed that extensive habitat loss has occurred in all EBAs, and that conservation action is urgently required if the remaining areas of habitat and the restricted-range species they support are not to be lost forever.
Consequently, one of the central objectives of BirdLife's strategy in Vietnam has been to establish at least one protected area within each EBA. With the establishment of Ke Go Nature Reserve in the Annamese Lowlands EBA, Ngoc Linh (Kon Tum) Nature Reserve in the Kon Tum Plateau EBA and Chu Yang Sin Nature Reserve in the Da Lat Plateau EBA, and the addition of the Cat Loc sector to Cat Tien National Park in the Southern Vietnamese Lowlands EBA, this objective has been achieved. The priority now is to ensure that these protected areas receive the financial and technical support they require to meet their objectives.
Golden-winged Laughingthrush was discovered on Mt Ngoc Linh, the highest mountain in the Western Highlands of Vietnam. The species is known only to occur in montane evergreen forest above 2,000 m. In 1998, as a result of work by BirdLife and the Forest Inventory and Planning Institute (FIPI), Ngoc Linh (Kon Tum) Nature Reserve was established, protecting forest on the western face of Mt Ngoc Linh. In 1999, BirdLife and FIPI completed a feasibility study for the establishment of Ngoc Linh (Quang Nam) Nature Reserve, the boundaries of which include forest on the eastern slopes of the mountain. It is hoped that this nature reserve will soon be established, and that the habitats and species on Mt Ngoc Linh will receive the protection they deserve.
Black-crowned Barwing was also discovered on Mt Ngoc Linh but has since been found at nearby sites in western Kon Tum province in Vietnam and on the Dakchung plateau in Laos. All the known localities of this species in Vietnam are located within Ngoc Linh (Kon Tum) Nature Reserve.
During a field survey of Mt Kon Ka Kinh, in 1999 Chestnut-eared laughingthrush was discovered. Efforts to conserve this newly discovered species were given a boost when Kon Ka Kinh Nature Reserve was established in 1999. This species, together with Golden-winged laughingthrush, was also recorded in Kon Plong district, Kon Tum province, during survey in 2000.