Tien Hai Nature Reserve is bordered by the Red River (also called Ba Lat River) to the south, the Lan river to the north and the main sea dike to the west. There are two sandy islands within the nature reserve: Vanh island, which covers 2000 ha and Thu Island, which covers 50 ha. Thu island is situated 4 km from the main land and the intervening intertidal area comprises sand-flats. Vanh island is separated from the mainland by a deep-water channel, the banks of which are covered by mangrove, most of which is included within aquacultural ponds. There is another extensive area of aquacultural ponds on the north bank of the Red River.
Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
Pedersen and Nguyen Huy Thang (1996) identified lack of reserve infrastructure, including staff, and an inadequate management plan as constraints to conservation management . In particular the authors recommended land-use zoning within the nature reserve to reduce human pressure on the most critical areas, and a clearer definition of the eastern boundary of the nature reserve.
Tien Hai Nature Reserve lies on the northern bank of the Red River mouth, while on the southern bank, lies Xuan Thuy Nature Reserve. These two nature reserves can be considered part of a contiguous ecological unit. On 20 september 1988, Xuan Thuy was designated Vietnam's first Ramsar site. On 24 January 1995, an official document was issued by the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology to expand the Ramsar site to include Vanh and Thu islands. However the sites are currently managed separetly, with Tien Hai being under management of Thai Binh Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Habitat and land use
The site supports 12 habitat types, of which the most important are sand dune, reedbed and mangrove. In addition, the intertidal mudflats are an important habitat for feeding shorebirds.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Tien Hai. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 25/05/2022.