South Vietnamese lowlands

Country/Territory Cambodia; Vietnam
Area 30,000 km2
Altitude 0 - 1000 m
Priority urgent
Habitat loss major
Knowledge poor

General characteristics

The South Vietnamese lowlands are considered here to include the lowlands and foothills of Dong Nai, Song Be and southern Lam Dong provinces, probably extending also into Binh Thuan, Ninh Tuan and Khanh Hoa provinces.

The natural vegetation of this part of the country is tropical semi-evergreen rain forest below c.1,000 m, with tropical montane rain forest above that altitude-but most of the lowland forest in this region of Vietnam has been cleared. Where this EBA extends onto the slopes of the Da Lat plateau (EBA 145) there is a small overlap in the altitudinal ranges of the birds of the two EBAs.

Restricted-range species

The distributions and habitat requirements of the restricted-range species in this EBA are poorly known, but much new information has been gathered during recent surveys by BirdLife International and others (see Eames et al. 1992, Robson et al. 1993a,b). It is only possible to draw a tentative boundary to the EBA, based on the known distribution of Polyplectron germaini, as all records (in this EBA) of the other two species fall within its range. Arborophila davidi was known until recently only from the type-specimens collected at Nu Kroai (Bu Croi) in Song Be province and from several recent sight records in Cat Tien National Park (C. R. Robson in litt. 1994), but a survey in 1997 found it to be common in Cat Loc proposed nature reserve (Anon. 1997b). Macronous kelleyi has only been recorded (in this EBA) in Cat Tien National Park and adjacent Cat Loc proposed nature reserve. All three species are found in lowland rain forest, and Polyplectron germaini has also been recorded locally in montane forest above 1,000 m.

Species IUCN Red List category
Orange-necked Partridge (Arborophila davidi) NT
Germain's Peacock-pheasant (Polyplectron germaini) NT
Grey-faced Tit-babbler (Mixornis kelleyi) LC

Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)
Country IBA Name IBA Book Code
Cambodia Snoul / Keo Sema / O Reang KH027
Cambodia Virachey KH010
Vietnam Cat Loc VN052
Vietnam Dak Dam VN045
Vietnam Lo Go - Xa Mat VN059
Vietnam Nam Cat Tien VN053

Threat and conservation

The major threat to the EBA is deforestation, as the lowlands have been almost completely cleared for agriculture and settlement, and extensive forests only remain on the slopes where they continue to be cleared by commercial logging and agricultural encroachment (Eames et al. 1992). Both of the restricted-range bird species which are confined to this EBA are threatened. More-widespread threatened species which have been recorded in or near the EBA include forest birds such as Siamese Fireback Lophura diardi and Green Peafowl Pavo muticus (both classified as Vulnerable), and wetland birds such as Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus (Vulnerable), White-shouldered Ibis Pseudibis davisoni (Endangered) and White-winged Duck Cairina scutulata (Endangered).

Cat Tien National Park is the key protected area in this EBA, as it includes extensive lowland forest, and supports populations of all three restricted-range bird species and several of the more-widespread threatened species (Eames et al. 1992). There are several other (mainly small) protected areas in this part of Vietnam (IUCN 1992c), but it is not clear whether any of them have suitable habitat for the restricted-range species. Cat Loc proposed nature reserve, which is adjacent to Cat Tien National Park, supports substantial populations of all three restricted-range species (Eames et al. 1992, Anon. 1997b), and Bui Gia Map proposed nature reserve may also prove to be important for the restricted-range species, although none has been recorded there yet (Nguyen Cu in litt. 1996).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Endemic Bird Areas factsheet: South Vietnamese lowlands. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/eba/factsheet/142 on 11/12/2023.