Da Lat plateau

Country/Territory Cambodia; Vietnam
Area 6,000 km2
Altitude 800 - 2400 m
Priority critical
Habitat loss moderate
Knowledge incomplete

General characteristics

This EBA includes the southern part of Vietnam's western highlands which lie within the country's Lam Dong province and adjacent parts of Dak Lak and (probably) Ninh Tuan provinces. Several of the mountains in this area rise to over 2,000 m, the highest being Chu Yang Sin at 2,442 m.

The natural vegetation types of the region are tropical montane evergreen forest and pine forest. The northern part of the South Vietnamese lowlands (EBA 144) lies immediately adjacent to the Da Lat plateau, but the birds of that EBA occur mainly at lower altitudes, in lowland semi-evergreen forest on the flanks of the mountains.

Restricted-range species

Recent surveys by BirdLife International and others have produced much new information on distribution and habitat requirements of restricted-range birds in this EBA (see Eames et al. 1992, Robson et al. 1993a,b, Eames 1995). The restricted-range species are all found in tropical montane broadleaf evergreen forest, except for Carduelis monguilloti which is usually found in pine forest. The other three species which are confined to the EBA all appear to have restricted altitudinal ranges: Garrulax milleti occurs at relatively low altitudes up to 1,650 m, and Crocias langbianis has only been recorded up to 1,450 m, though it is known by just a small number of specimens and recent sight records (Eames et al. 1995b); Garrulax yersini is only recorded from upper montane forest above 1,500 m on the higher peaks.

Species IUCN Red List category
(Rheinardia ocellata) NR
(Napothera danjoui) NR
Black-hooded Laughingthrush (Garrulax milleti) LC
White-cheeked Laughingthrush (Pterorhinus vassali) LC
Collared Laughingthrush (Trochalopteron yersini) EN
Grey-crowned Crocias (Laniellus langbianis) EN
Yellow-billed Nuthatch (Sitta solangiae) NT
Vietnamese Greenfinch (Chloris monguilloti) LC

Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)
Country IBA Name IBA Book Code
Cambodia Snoul / Keo Sema / O Reang KH027
Vietnam Bi Dup VN036
Vietnam Chu Yang Sin VN030
Vietnam Cong Troi VN056
Vietnam Lang Bian VN037
Vietnam Phuoc Binh VN038
Vietnam Tuyen Lam VN048

Threat and conservation

Shifting cultivation has greatly modified the extent, composition and quality of evergreen forest in the EBA and is resulting in increasing habitat fragmentation. The frequent use of fire by shifting cultivators prevents the regeneration of evergreen forest and has promoted the growth of a fire-climax dominated by Pinus kesiya. Logging continues to be a major activity in the EBA, and much of the pine forest is allocated to production forest where logging is permitted. A government-planned resettlement programme has led to thousands of people emigrating annually into the region, causing the degradation of evergreen forests in some areas through increased fuelwood collection and charcoal production, particularly in Dak Lak province. This has also significantly reduced the biological importance of Nui Ba near Da Lat city (Eames 1995).

Six of the restricted-range birds are threatened, principally because of habitat loss and degradation, including three of the four species which are confined to this EBA. Although endemic to the EBA, Carduelis monguilloti is not considered to be globally threatened, because it may actually have benefited from the increase in the area of pine forest (Eames et al. 1992). A more widespread threatened forest bird which has been recorded in this EBA is Pale-capped Pigeon Columba punicea (classified as Vulnerable).

There are three gazetted protected areas within the EBA (IUCN 1992c). The most important are Chu Yang Sin and Thuong Da Nhim Nature Reserves, which support populations of all the restricted-range species and include over 10% of the EBA's total area-and most of its best remaining areas of evergreen forest. The forests on Chu Yang Sin extend in altitude from 500 m up to its peak at 2,442 m (Eames and Nguyen Cu 1994). Eames et al. (1992) recommend a faunal survey and feasibility study of the Nui Ta Dung area with a view to affording this site reserve status.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Endemic Bird Areas factsheet: Da Lat plateau. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/eba/factsheet/141 on 03/12/2023.