The IBA comprises Ke Go Nature Reserve, most of which consists of gently undulating hills below 300 m. The nature reserve is within one of the largest remaining blocks of natural broadleaf evergreen forest in the Annamese lowlands. Almost the entire nature reserve area is forested but has been logged in the past and undisturbed primary forest is virtually absent.
Ke Go is situated in the Annamese Lowlands Endemic Bird Area (EBA) and supports populations of five restricted-range bird species: Vietnamese Pheasant Lophura hatinhensis, Imperial Pheasant L. imperialis, Crested Argus Rheinardia ocellata, Short-tailed Scimitar Babbler Jabouilleia danjoui and Grey-faced Tit Babbler Macronous kelleyi. Of greatest significance, Ke Go Nature Reserve, together with the adjacent forest area in northern Quang Binh province, is the only site in the world known to support a population of Vietnamese Pheasant.
Non-bird biodiversity: Ten globally threatened mammal species have been have been recorded at the nature reserve. However, several of these species, in particular Asian Elephant Elaphus maximus, Gaur Bos gaurus and Tiger Panthera tigris, may already be extinct or reduced to relict populations as a result of hunting. White -cheeked Crested Gibbon Nomascus leucogenys, another species of conservation concern, is reported to be extremely rare in the area as a result of unrestricted hunting and exploitation of the forest (Le Trong Trai et al. 1999).
Habitat and land use
It is rare in Vietnam for a protected area to be adjacent to or contiguous with other forest areas, as is the case with Ke Go Nature Reserve. The absence of adjacent forested areas often seriously compromises land-management options in the surrounding buffer zone. In this respect, Ke Go Nature Reserve presents a unique opportunity to develop management strategies for the sustainable development of the entire forest block. To ensure the long-term viability of the IBA and the surrounding forests, it is important that forest management in the buffer zone be sustainable and compatible with the aims of the nature reserve.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
People of the Kinh ethnic group inhabit the buffer zone of Ke Go Nature Reserve and the major threats to biodiversity at the site are hunting, illegal timber extraction, charcoal production, fuelwood collection and fragrant oil extraction.
Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
Prior to the establishment of the Ke Go Nature Reserve, CRES, Ky Anh District People's Committee and Ha Tinh Provincial Department of Science, Technology and the Environment implemented a project to protect the Gat Che Me area in the east of the nature reserve. Between 1992 and 1998, with funding from the National Environment Programme of Vietnam, the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources conducted a biodiversity survey of the Ke Go area.In 1996, as part of the European Union-funded project The Conservation of Biodiversity in the Annamese Lowlands and the Dalat Plateau, Vietnam, BirdLife and FIPI prepared an investment plan for Ke Go Nature Reserve.In 1996, with funding from the Danish Embassy in Hanoi, BirdLife and Oxfam UK-Ireland implemented a one-year environmental education project. This project worked in collaboration with Ky Anh District Department of Education and Training in the buffer zone of Ke Go Nature Reserve.Between 1997 and 1999, with funding from the British Birdwatching Fair, BirdLife implemented the Ke Go Forest Project. Project activities include construction of two guard stations, provision of motorbikes and other equipment, and training for nature reserve staff.In 1998, the Non-timber Forest Product Research Centre of the Forest Science Institute of Vietnam began implementing the project Sustainable Utilisation of Non-timber Forest Products, with funding from the Netherlands Government and technical support from IUCN. The aim of the project is to promote the conservaiton of biodiversity through the sustainable use of non-timber district forest products. Pilot activities are currently being carried out, in collaboration with CRES, in Cam Xuyen in the buffer zone of Ke Go Nature Reserve.In 2001, Dansk Ornitologisk Forening (BirdLife Denmark), together with Ha Tinh Provincial DARD and the BirdLife International Vietnam Programme will begin implementing an integrated conservation and development project entitled The Sustainable Management of Ke Go Nature Reserve. This project will be funded by Danida. The project will aim to conserve the biodiversity of Ke Go Nature Reserve while improving the socio-economic conditions of the local communities in the buffer zone. The project has three main objectives: (i) to strengthen the capacity of the nature reserve management board to undertake management planning and facilitate management of natural resources by local communities; (ii) to develop community-based resource-use activities that support the conservation objectives and address environmental, productive and social issues in the buffer zone; and (iii) to raise awareness among the local population and authorites, in order to support the objectives of the management plan and the long-term conservation of the nature reserve.
Prior to 1990, the Ke Go area was under the management of Cam Ky Forest Enterprise. In 1990, Cam Ky Forest Enterprise ceased logging operations and part of the area under its management was designated as Ke Go Reservoir Watershed Protection Forest (WPF). When Ke Go Nature Reserve was decreed in 1996, it combined 7,511 ha previously under the management of Ha Dong Forest Enterprise and 11,385 ha previously under the management of Ke Go Reservoir WPF.After the discovery of Vietnamese Pheasant and Imperial Pheasant at Ke Go, the BirdLife Internaitonal Vietnam Programme lobbied for the establishment of a national-level nature reserve at Ke Go. Such a reserve was decreed by the government of Vietnam in 1996.