VN046 Vietnam Bird Watching Lo Xo
VN046 Vietnam Bird Watching Lo Xo Criteria: A1 & A2
Area: 15,000 ha
Altitude Range: 1,500-2,032 m asl
EBA / SA: Kon Tum Plateau EBA
Priority Landscape: CA 1 – Central Annamites
The IBA is located on the Kon Tum plateau, and is centred on the Lo Xo pass, a mountain pass along National Highway 2 (previously National Highway 14), on the border between Kon Tum and Quang Nam provinces. The IBA includes the mountain ridges on both sides of the pass in Dak Glei district, Kon Tum province, and Phuoc Son district, Quang Nam province. The areas to the west and south of the pass are within Ngoc Linh (Kon Tum) Nature Reserve, while those to the north-east of the pass are within Song Thanh proposed nature reserve. The highest points in the IBA are Mount Ngoc Ti On (2,032 m asl) and an unnamed 1,988 m asl peak. The IBA is extensively forested, and the main forest type is lower montane evergreen forest, although there exist smaller areas of upper montane evergreen forest. Lo Xo IBA is situated 15 km to the west of Ngoc Linh IBA, to which it is connected by intervening forest areas.
Bird Fauna: Key Features
Due to disparities in survey effort, all bird records from Lo Xo IBA are from Ngoc Linh (Kon Tum) Nature Reserve, and there are currently no records from Song Thanh proposed nature reserve. Lo Xo IBA is situated within the Kon Tum Plateau Endemic Bird Area (EBA), and supports six of the nine restricted-range species that define this EBA. Most notably, the IBA supports a population of Black-crowned Barwing Actinodura sodangorum. This species was only discovered in 1996, and is currently known from only two other sites in the world: Ngoc Linh IBA in Vietnam and Dakchung Plateau IBA in Laos. The IBA supports suitable habitat for two other newly described species with global ranges restricted to the Kon Tum Plateau EBA: Golden-winged Laughingthrush Garrulax ngoclinhensis and Chestnut-eared Laughingthrush G. konkakinhensis. To date, however, neither species has been recorded in the IBA.
|Species||IBACriteria||Global Threat Status||OtherIBAs||Notes|
|Crested ArgusRheinardia ocellata||A1, A2||VU||15||The species was heard calling on several occasions in April 19981,2.|
|Black-crowned BarwingActinodura sodangorum||A1, A2||VU||1||Two pairs were observed, one at 1,000 m asl and another at 1,500 m asl in April 19983.|
|Brown HornbillAnorrhinus tickelli||A1, A3||NT||16||The species was heard on a single occasion in April 19981,2.|
|Yellow-billed NuthatchSitta solangiae||A1, A2||NT||11||The species was seen on several occasions, and two specimens were collected in April 19981,2.|
|Black-hooded LaughingthrushGarrulax milleti||A1, A2||NT||8||The species was seen on a number of occasions, and two specimens were collected in April 19981,2.|
|Short-tailed Scimitar BabblerJabouilleia danjoui||A1, A2||NT||17||A pair was seen and a single specimen was collected in April 19981,2.|
|White-cheeked LaughingthrushGarrulax vassali||A2||8||A group of four to six birds was seen in April 19981,2.|
Biome Restricted Species: The site does not qualify under criterion A3. See Appendix 4 for details.
Rhesus Macaque Macaca mulatta2 NT
Cephalotaxus mannii2 VU
Stump-tailed Macaque Macaca arctoides2 VU
Amenotaxus poilanei2 VU
Buff-cheeked Gibbon Nomascus gabriellae2 VU
[Southern Serow Naemorhedus sumatraensis]2 VU
Podocarpus neriifolius2 DD
Notes: [ ] = unconfirmed record.
Threats to Biodiversity
The major threats to biodiversity at Lo Xo IBA are clearance of forest for agriculture, over-exploitation of timber and NTFPs, hunting and infrastructure development. Ethnic minority communities in the buffer zone of Ngoc Linh (Kon Tum) Nature Reserve are heavily dependent upon natural resources. For example, forest products are estimated to account for 20 to 25% of the income of these households. Consequently, hunting, timber extraction and NTFP collection are widespread within the IBA, and many of these activities are taking place at unsustainable levels2.
|Agricultural intensification / expansion||● ●|
|Infrastructure development||● ● ●|
|Selective logging / cutting||●|
|Unsustainable exploitation of NTFPs||●|
Perhaps the biggest threat to biodiversity at Lo Xo IBA is the on-going upgrade of National Highway 2, which bisects the site. Unless strict controls are put in place immediately after the completion of this work, there exists a very real danger that the upgraded road will facilitate exploitation of natural resources and act as a focus for human settlement, thereby resulting in habitat degradation and loss4.
In 1986, the establishment of Ngoc Linh (Kon Tum) Nature Reserve was decreed by the government of Vietnam5.
In 1998, a nature reserve investment plan was prepared for Ngoc Linh (Kon Tum), and, subsequently, a management board was established5.
In 1999, a nature reserve investment plan was prepared for Song Thanh, and, in the same year, a management board was established5.
- The conservation management planning and law enforcement capacity of staff at both nature reserves should be strengthened.
- Strict controls should be placed on human settlement and clearance of forest for agriculture along the route of National Highway 2 (previously National Highway 14).
- Sustainable exploitation of natural resources, particularly wild animals and NTFPs, should be promoted among local communities.
- Further studies should be conducted to assess the status and distribution of key species at the IBA, in particular the status of Golden-winged Laughingthrush and Chestnut-eared Laughingthrush at the IBA should be evaluated, and the significance of forest areas within Song Thanh proposed nature reserve for biodiversity conservation should be assessed.