The IBA boundary follows that of the original Yok Don National Park, and does not include the recent extensions that were approved in 2001. Yok Don is situated on the low plateau that covers northern Dak Lak and southern Gia Lai provinces in the Central Highlands. The topography of most of the site is flat, at an elevation of around 200 m. Mount Yok Don is the highest point in the IBA. The Srepok river is the only permanent flowing watercourse at the site. Almost 100% of the site area is under forest cover. The majority of the forest is dry dipterocarp forest, with smaller areas of semi-deciduous and evergreen forest. The canopy of the dry dipterocarp forest is open, and the trees have thick, fire-resistant bark.
Yok Don is one of the few established protected areas in Vietnam to support a significant population of the globally threatened Green Peafowl Pavo muticus.
Non-bird biodiversity: Brickle et al. (1998) recorded two threatened primate species at Yok Don: Rhesus Macaque Macaca mulatta and Stump-tailed Macaque Macaca arctoides. The latter species was also recorded by Eames and Nguyen Tu (in prep.). 'Silvered' Leaf Monkey Trachypithecus villosus has also been recorded at the site (Le Xuan Canh et al. 1997).Duckworth and Hedges (1998) report the occurrence of Asian Elephant Elephas maximus, Gaur Bos gaurus and Banteng B. javanicus at Yok Don.
Habitat and land use
According to FPD (1998), Yok Don supports 56,192 ha of forest, equivalent to 97% of the total area. Remote sensing data indicate that the majority of the forest at Yok Don is deciduous forest (dry dipterocarp forest), with smaller areas of semi-deciduous and evergreen forest. The canopy of the deciduous forest is open, and most trees have thick, fire-resistant bark. Unlike the deciduous forest, the semi-deciduous forest at the site has a closed canopy, and is stratified into five layers. Evergreen forest has a limited distribution a the site, being confined to higher elevations on the range of hills in the south-east of the site.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Currently, hunting is the greatest direct threat to biodiversity at the site. A high level of migration into the area surrounding Yok Don is leading to an increase in pressure on natural resources, and threatens to undermine conservation activities at the site.
Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
In 1997, WWF Indochina Programme and IUCN conducted a field survey of the large mammals of Dak Lak province.The largest conservation project currently being implemented at Yok Don is entitled Creating Protected Areas for Resource Conservation Using Landscape Ecology (PARC), which began in 1999. The PARC project is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and aims to employ a landscape ecoogy approach to conservation.
Although precise information is not available, it appears that Yok Don National Park was first decreed as a nature reserve in 1977. Subsequently, the establishment of a 40,000 ha nature reserve called Tieu Teo Easup was decreed in 1986. It appears that the protected area was intended to have two sectors: one in Chu Prong district, in what is now Gia Lai province, and one in Easup district, Dak Lak province. However, protected areas were never established in these two sites. The decision to establish Tieu Teo Easup Nature Reserve was later used as the basis for establishing Yok Don Nature Reserve in Buon Don district, Dak Lak province. An investment plan to upgrade Yok Don Nature Reserve to National Park status was approved in 1991. The area of the national park given in this decree was 58,200 ha. In 1998, FIPI prepared a revised investment plan for Yok Don National Park. This investment plan proposed expanding the national park by 57,345 ha, to a total area of 115,545 ha. This investment plan has been approved by Dak Lak PPC, and was also approved by MARD in September 2001.