TH001
Doi Inthanon


Country/territory: Thailand

IBA Criteria met: A1, A3 (2004)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 48,240 ha

Protection status:

Bird Conservation Society of Thailand

Site description
The IBA comprises Doi Inthanon National Park, which is centred on the highest mountain in Thailand. The various montane vegetation formations at higher elevations are an important feature of the park, and the mountain characterises the tropical-subtropical forest phytoclimatic boundary. This is the only site in Thailand where the forest begins to resemble true upper montane evergreen formations, composed largely of temperate families from the Sino-Himalayan region including Quercus spp. and Rhododendron spp.; around the summit there is a small area of Sphagnum bog surrounded by members of the Ericaceae. Montane evergreen forest covers c.29,000 ha (approximately 50%) of the IBA and is the dominant forest type above 1,500 m asl, being least disturbed above 1,800 m asl. The mid-elevations (1,000-1,600 m asl) have been almost entirely deforested through shifting cultivation. Lower-mid elevation mixed deciduous forests account for approximately 19% of the IBA area, and open deciduous dipterocarp forests predominate on the poor, stony soils of the lower hill slopes (300-700 m asl), accounting for c.11% of the total area, giving way to lowland evergreen forest only in the immediate vicinity of the larger streams. Coniferous forest occurs along drier ridges and slopes; some reforestation with native pine species has also occurred. Four major tributaries drain the area, and ultimately feed the Chao Phraya river. A number of villages are located on the mountain, and a metalled road provides public access up to the summit.The IBA comprises Doi Inthanon National Park, which is centred on the highest mountain in Thailand. The various montane vegetation formations at higher elevations are an important feature of the park, and the mountain characterises the tropical-subtropical forest phytoclimatic boundary. This is the only site in Thailand where the forest begins to resemble true upper montane evergreen formations, composed largely of temperate families from the Sino-Himalayan region including Quercus spp. and Rhododendron spp.; around the summit there is a small area of Sphagnum bog surrounded by members of the Ericaceae. Montane evergreen forest covers c.29,000 ha (approximately 50%) of the IBA and is the dominant forest type above 1,500 m asl, being least disturbed above 1,800 m asl. The mid-elevations (1,000-1,600 m asl) have been almost entirely deforested through shifting cultivation. Lower-mid elevation mixed deciduous forests account for approximately 19% of the IBA area, and open deciduous dipterocarp forests predominate on the poor, stony soils of the lower hill slopes (300-700 m asl), accounting for c.11% of the total area, giving way to lowland evergreen forest only in the immediate vicinity of the larger streams. Coniferous forest occurs along drier ridges and slopes; some reforestation with native pine species has also occurred. Four major tributaries drain the area, and ultimately feed the Chao Phraya river. A number of villages are located on the mountain, and a metalled road provides public access up to the summit.

Key biodiversity
The montane bird community shows close affinities to eastern Himalayan evergreen forest types, and the site supports several upper montane species that are either scarce or found nowhere else in Thailand, including Ashy Wood Pigeon Columba pulchricollis, Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush Monticola rufiventris, Purple Cochoa Cochoa purpurea, White-browed Shortwing Brachypteryx montana, Ashy-throated Warbler Phylloscopus maculipennis, Cutia Cutia nipalensis, Chestnut-tailed Minla Minla strigula, the endemic Green-tailed Sunbird subspecies Aethopyga nipalensis angkanensis and Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker Dicaeum melanoxanthum. Jerdon's Bushchat Saxicola jerdoni, a species characteristic of the Indo-Gangetic plains (Biome 12), has been recorded but does not regularly occur in significant numbers. The only globally threatened species recorded regularly at the site is Grey-sided Thrush Turdus feae, a winter visitor to the middle and higher elevation forests. The other globally threatened species recorded recently are all rare visitors to the site, and do not occur in significant numbers (see table). Of these species, Doi Inthanon National Park is the only site in Thailand where the globally endangered Scaly-sided Merganser Mergus squamatus has been recorded. The globally near-threatened White-rumped Falcon Polihierax insignis is an uncommon resident of the lower slopes; this species is considered nationally threatened in Thailand. The globally vulnerable Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis was recorded historically but is now probably extinct at the site. Giant Nuthatch was also recorded historically, in 1931; although there are numerous recent unconfirmed reports of the species, these are considered probably erroneous given the lack of large-girth pines with which the species is associated elsewhere. In addition, there are one confirmed and two unconfirmed historical records (the most recent in 1986) of the globally vulnerable Wood Snipe Gallinago nemoricola, and an unconfirmed historical record of the globally vulnerable Blackthroat Luscinia obscura from 1981. Furthermore, unconfirmed reports from local people in the mid-1990s suggest that Mrs Hume's Pheasant Syrmaticus humiae may still occur at the site. The site qualifies under criterion A3 because it supports 28 species restricted to the Sino-Himalayan Temperate Forests (Biome 07), 55 species restricted to the Sino-Himalayan Subtropical Forests (Biome 08) and 11 species restricted to the Indo-Malayan Tropical Dry Zone (Biome 11). See Appendix 3 for details.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals Southern Serow Capricornis sumatraensis (VU) Assamese Macaque Macaca assamensis (VU) Northern Pig-tailed Macaque Macaca leonina (VU) Asiatic Black Bear Ursus thibetanus (VU) Reptiles Big-headed Turtle Platysternon megacephalum (EN) Impressed Tortoise Manouria impressa (VU) Fish Oreoglanis siamensis (VU) Plants Dipterocarpus turbinatus (CR) Afzelia xylocarpa (EN) Hopea ferrea (EN) Shorea roxburghii (EN) Hopea odorata (VU) Maytenus curtissii (VU)


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Doi Inthanon. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 09/07/2020.