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Vietnam species
Vietnam is home to nearly 850 bird species. Of these species, 33 are considered to be globally threatened, meaning that they are threatened with extinction worldwide. Twenty two species are termed restricted-range species, meaning that their global breeding range is less than 50,000 kmē. Ten of these restricted-range species are believed to be endemic to Vietnam, meaning that they occur nowhere else in the world.

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

English name
Latin name
White-shouldered Ibis Pseudibis davisoni
Giant Ibis Thaumatibis gigantea  
Slender-billed Vulture Gyps tenuirostris  
White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis
Greater Adjutant Leptoptilos dubius
Spoon-billed Sandpiper Eurynorhynchus pygmeus  
Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor
White-winged Duck Cairina scutulata
Orange-necked Partridge Arborophila davidi
Edwards's Pheasant Lophura edwardsi
Vietnamese Pheasant Lophura hatinhensis
Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis
White-eared Night-heron Gorsachius magnificus  
Scaly-sided Merganser Mergus squamatus  
Spotted Greenshank Tringa guttifer
Collared Laughingthrush Garrulax yersini
Grey-crowned Crocias Crocias langbianis
Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis
Chinese Egret Egretta eulophotes
Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus
Baer's Pochard Aythya baeri
Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga
Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca
Germain's Peacock-pheasant Polyplectron germaini
Crested Argus Rheinardia ocellata
Green Peafowl Pavo muticus
Sarus Crane Grus antigone
Masked Finfoot Heliopais personata
Wood Snipe Gallinago nemoricola
Black-necked Crane Grus nigricollis
Saunders's Gull Larus saundersi
Indian Skimmer Rynchops albicollis  
Pale-capped Pigeon Columba punicea
Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis
Fairy Pitta Pitta nympha
Chenust-eared Laughingthrush Garrulax konkakinhensis  
Golden-winged Laughingthrush Garrulax ngoclinhensis
Black-crowned Barwing Actinodura sodangorum
Manchurian Reed-warbler Acrocephalus tangorum
Beautiful Nuthatch Sitta formosa
Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster
Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala
Black-headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca
Lesser Fish-eagle Ichthyophaga humilis
Grey-headed Fish-eagle Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus
Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus  
Red-headed Vulture Sarcogyps calvus
Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus  
White-rumped Falcon Polihierax insignis
Chestnut-necklaced Partridge Arborophila charltonii
Siamese Fireback Lophura diardi
Band-bellied Crake Porzana paykullii
Malaysian Plover Charadrius peronii
Diademed Sandpiper-plover Phegornis mitchellii
Asian Dowitcher Limnodromus semipalmatus
Black-bellied Tern Sterna acuticauda  
Nicobar Pigeon Caloenas nicobarica
Ward's Trogon Harpactes wardi
Blyth's Kingfisher Alcedo hercules
Great Hornbill Buceros bicornis
Brown Hornbill Anorrhinus tickelli
Red-collared Woodpecker Picus rabieri
Black-hooded Laughingthrush Garrulax milleti
Short-tailed Scimitar-babbler Jabouilleia danjoui
Sooty Babbler Stachyris herberti
Rufous-rumped Grassbird Graminicola bengalensis  
Japanese Paradise-flycatcher Terpsiphone atrocaudata
Yellow-billed Nuthatch Sitta solangiae
Yellow-breasted Bunting Emberiza aureola  
Vietnam Greenfinch Carduelis monguilloti
Asian Golden Weaver Ploceus hypoxanthus
Imperial Pheasant Lophura imperialis

(N) indicates that this species is a non-breeding visitor
(*) indicates an endemic species to the territory

For more information about globally threatened species in Vietnam, visit the online version of Threatened Birds of Asia:

Conservation priority setting
Resources available for biodiversity conservation in Vietnam are limited. BirdLife uses threatened and restricted-range bird species to set conservation priorities and, thereby, ensure that these resources are used most effectively.

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
Many species are in danger of going extinct worldwide, as a result of habitat loss, hunting and a range of other factors. If the probability of a particular species going extinct is believed to be above a certain threshold, it is termed a globally threatened species. One of BirdLife's objectives is to monitor the status of bird species in Vietnam and to make this data available to the compilers of the Asian Red Data Book and Birds to Watch 3, two publications that contain the list of globally threatened species in Vietnam.

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
Every year, the coastal zone of the Red River Delta is home to large numbers of wintering waterbirds, including several globally threatened species. These include the endangered Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor. In some years, one quarter of the global population of this species winters in northern Vietnam. BirdLife takes part in the annual global Black-faced Spoonbill census. In 2000, the total global population of this species was the highest recorded since the global census began. However, the figure for Vietnam was down on previous years, highlighting the acute threats that this species faces in Vietnam: principally hunting and the loss of intertidal mudflats, the habitat upon which this species depends.

Restricted-range species
There are 22 restricted-range bird species in Vietnam, all but three of which belong to the Phasianidae (partridges and pheasants) or the Sylviidae (babblers and warblers) families. Each restricted-range species occurs in one or more Endemic Bird Areas (EBAs). EBAs are areas that contain the global ranges of at least two restricted-range species. There are four EBAs in Vietnam.

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.

New species
Between 1996 and 1999, BirdLife discovered three bird species new to science: Golden-winged Laughingthrush, Black-crowned Barwing and Chestnut-eared laughingthrush.

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.