VN036 Vietnam Bird Watching Bi Dup

VN036 Vietnam Bird Watching Bi Dup Criteria: A1, A2 & A3

vn036-300x300Province(s):          Lam Dong
PA Status:            Nature Reserve

Latitude:               12º08’N
Longitude:            108º40’E
Area:                     20,000 ha
Altitude Range:    1,400-2,287 m asl                                                

EBA / SA: Da Lat Plateau EBA
Priority Landscape: SA 3 – Southern Annamites Main Montane Block

General Description

Situated on the Da Lat plateau, the IBA is centred on Mount Bi Dup, the highest peak in Bi Dup-Nui Ba Nature Reserve. The topography of the IBA is dominated by a range of high mountains, including Mount Bi Dup (2,287 m asl) and Mount Gia Rich (1,922 m asl). The vegetation of the IBA is dominated by montane evergreen forest, although there are smaller areas of coniferous forest and mixed broadleaf and coniferous forest1. The Da Lat plateau supports high levels of endemism in plants and animals, and a significant proportion of the taxa endemic to the plateau are found on Mount Bi Dup.

Bird Fauna: Key Features

Bi Dup IBA lies within the Da Lat Plateau Endemic Bird Area (EBA), and supports seven of the eight restricted-range bird species that define this EBA. Most notably, Bi Dup supports a population of the globally endangered Collared Laughingthrush Garrulax yersini, a species whose global range is confined to the Da Lat Plateau EBA. Bi Dup IBA is of particular importance for the conservation of this species, because it is restricted to montane evergreen forest, a habitat type that is in decline across the Da Lat plateau. Bi Dup IBA is also supports a large number of subspecies endemic to the Da Lat plateau, some of which may be worthy of elevation to species level. These include subspecies of Spot-breasted Laughingthrush Garrulax merulinus annamensis, Blue-winged Minla Minla cyanouroptera and Grey-headed Parrotbill Paradoxornis gularis margaritae.

Species IBACriteria Global Threat Status OtherIBAs Notes
Collared LaughingthrushGarrulax yersini A1, A2 EN 5 The species was recorded on several occasions on Mount Bi Dup and at Long Lanh in May 19912. During December 1993, the species was recorded on Mount Bi Dup and Mount Gia Rich, at elevations between 1,780 and 2,130 m asl, on five occasions2.
Crested ArgusRheinardia ocellata A1, A2 VU 15 The species was heard calling on Mount Bi Dup and at Long Lanh in May 19913 and, also, on Mount Bi Dup and Mount Gia Rich in December 19932.
Pale-capped PigeonColumba punicea A1, A3 VU 5 A single bird was observed on Mount Bi Dup in December 19932.
[Brown HornbillAnorrhinus tickelli] A1, A3 NT 17 The species was provisionally recorded on the basis of hornbill calls heard on Mount Gia Rich in December 19942.
Yellow-billed NuthatchSitta solangiae A1, A2 NT 11 Several birds were observed on Mount Bi Dup in May 19913, and a single bird was observed on Mount Gia Rich in December 19932.
Black-hooded LaughingthrushGarrulax milleti A1, A2 NT 8 A flock of four to six birds was seen in forest edge on Mount Gia Rich in December 19932.
Short-tailed Scimitar BabblerJabouilleia danjoui A1, A2 NT 17 The species was recorded on Mount Bi Dup and Mount Gia Rich in May 1991 and December 19932,3.
Vietnam GreenfinchCarduelis monguilloti A1, A2 NT 4 The species was recorded on the lower slopes of Mount Bi Dup and at Long Lanh in May 19912,3. The species was heard flying over Mount Bi Dup at 1,740 m asl in December 19932.
White-cheeked LaughtingthrushGarrulax vassali A2 8 Several birds, including at least one juvenile, were seen on Mount Gia Rich in May 19913.

Notes: [ ] = unconfirmed record.

Biome Restricted Species: The site qualifies under criterion A3 because it supports 27 species restricted to the Sino-Himalayan Subtropical Forests (Biome 08). See Appendix 4 for details.

Secondary Criteria

Species                                                 Status    

[Stump-tailed Macaque Macaca arctoides]4                VU
Calocedrus macrolepis4,6                                                   VU
[Black-shanked Douc Pygathrix nigripes]5                  EN
Fokienia hodginsii4,6                                                           NT
Buff-cheeked Gibbon Nomascus gabriellae4               VU
Podocarpus neriifolius4,6                                                    DD
Pinus dalatensis4                                                          VU
[Asian Elephant Elephas maximus]4                                  EN
Pinus krempfii4,6                                                           VU
Gaur Bos gaurus4                                                               VU
Pinus merkusii6                                                            VU
[Southern Serow Naemorhedus sumatraensis]4                VU

Notes: [ ] = unconfirmed record.

Threats to Biodiversity

Prior to the establishment of Bi Dup-Nui Ba Nature Reserve, significant areas of forest in Bi Dup IBA were degraded and cleared by commercial logging operations. Since the cessation of commercial logging at the site, habitat loss and degradation continue but at lower levels. The main causes of habitat loss at the IBA are clearance of forest for shifting cultivation and fire. Over-exploitation of forest productions, particularly firewood collection and charcoal production, also contribute to habitat degradation and loss1.

Threat Severity
Agricultural intensification / expansion ●  ●
Fire ●  ●
Hunting
Selective logging / cutting ●  ●
Unsustainable exploitation of NTFPs ●  ●

Habitat loss presents a particular threat to biodiversity with regards to montane evergreen forest, which is the key habitat for restricted-range bird species at Bi Dup IBA, with the exception of Vietnamese Greenfinch Carduelis monguilloti, which prefers coniferous forest. Most remaining montane evergreen forest in the IBA is at elevations above 1,500 m asl, which is towards the upper end of the altitudinal ranges of Crested Argus Rheinardia ocellata and Black-hooded Laughingthrush Garrulax milleti. Therefore, further loss of montane evergreen forest may result in the extinction of these and other species at the site. Indeed, the globally endangered Grey-crowned Crocias Crocias langbianis, a species currently believed restricted to montane evergreen forest between 900 and 1,450 m asl, may already have been extirpated from the site for this reason.

Conservation Actions
  • The establishment of Thuong Da Nhim Nature Reserve, which was later incorporated within Bi Dup-Nui Ba Nature Reserve, was decreed by the government of Vietnam in 19861.
  • A management board for Bi Dup-Nui Ba Nature Reserve was established in 19931.
Recommendations
  • Enforcement of protected area management regulations, particularly over-exploitation of forest products and clearance of forest for cultivation, should be strengthened.
  • A comprehensive fire management programme should be initiated, including environmental awareness activities aimed at raising awareness among local communities of the hazards posed by fire.
  • Bi Dup IBA should be managed with the objective of conserving the biodiversity of the Da Lat plateau as a whole. In particular, attention should be given to creating or maintaining habitat corridors with other areas of natural habitat, and maintaining sufficient area of each natural habitat to support all endemic taxa for which the IBA is important. To this end, an detailed programme of research should be conducted to investigate the ecological requirements of all endemic taxa on the Da Lat plateau.