This IBA is centred on A Yun Pa proposed nature reserve, which is located in a low mountainous area of the Central Highlands that lies between the much higher Da Lat and Kon Tum plateaus to the north and south. The proposed nature reserve supports 40,120 ha of natural forest, equivalent to 91% of the total area. A Yun Pa proposed nature reserve is a nationally important site for the conservation of Green Peafowl Pavo muticus. The major threats to biodiversity at the site are hunting and trapping of wildlife and selective timber extraction. The gentle topography, wide stream valleys and open forest structure of the proposed nature reserve facilitate access to even the most remote areas.
A Yun Pa proposed nature reserve is a nationally important site for the conservation of Green Peafowl Pavo muticus. A recent study of the habitat requirements of Green Peafowl in Dak Lak province revealed that the species occurs at highest densities in deciduous forest within 2 km of permanent water and greater than 2 km from permanent human settlement (Brickle et al., 1998). A Yun Pa proposed nature reserve contains 16,070 ha of this habitat, compared with 12,300 ha at Yok Don National Park. Therefore, assuming that relative abundances of Green Peafowl are comparable between the two sites, A Yun Pa proposed nature reserve can be considered to be at least as important for the conservation of Green Peafowl.
Non-bird biodiversity: Three globally threatened species of vascular plant have been recorded at A Yun Pa: Dipterocarpus baudii, Psychotria condorensis and Cycas micholitzii.Asiatic Black Bear Ursus thibetanus, Tiger Panthera tigris and Malayan Porcupine Hystrix brachyura have been recorded at A Yun Pa on the basis of interviews and remains.Three threatened primate species have been recorded at A Yun Pa proposed nature reserve on the basis of interviews with local people: Long-tailed Macaque Macaca fascicularis, Douc Langur Pygathrix nemaeus ssp and Yellow-cheeked Crested Gibbon Nomascus gabrielle. Additionally, remains provisionally identified as being of a Douc Langur were observed in a hunter's house in Ia Tul commune. Based on the descriptions of local hunters and the known distributions of Douc Langur subspecies, it was impossible to determine conclusively whether the subspecies occurring at A Yun Pa is Black-shanked Douc Langur P. n. nigripes or Grey-shanked Douc Langur P. n. cinereus (Tran Quang Ngoc et al., 2001). Southern Serow Naemorhedus sumatraensis has also been recorded at A Yun Pa proposed nature reserve on the basis of interviews, and remains in a hunter's house.
Habitat and land use
The site supports three major forest types: lowland deciduous forest, lowland semi-deciduous forest and lower montane evergreen forest. A Yun Pa is situated in the transition zone between the deciduous forests of the Central Highlands and the evergreen forests of the central coastal region. Only one other protected area in Vietnam supports such a transition in habitat types. 12,721 ha of the proposed nature reserve is currently under the management of Chu Mo Forest Enterprise. In recent years, the management objectives of this forest enterprise has switched from exploitation to forest protection.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Presently, one of the biggest threats to biodiversity at A Yun Pa proposed nature reserve is hunting and trapping of wildlife. The gentle topography, wide stream valleys and open forest structure of the proposed nature reserve facilitate access to even the most remote areas. A threat associated with hunting is forest fire: fires are often set by hunters in order to drive animals out of cover.Another major threat is timber extraction. In the past, parts of the proposed nature reserve were commercially logged by forest enterprises. Although commercial logging has now ceased, small-scale timber extraction by local people is widespread. Clearance of forest for agriculture is currently not a major threat. However, forest clearance, together with hunting and timber extraction, may increase in the future as a result of population growth. The future rate of in-migration threatens to increase, as plans already exist to settle migrants from northern Vietnam into the buffer zone.
Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
Between March and April 2000, FIPI and BirdLife International, in collaboration with Gia Lai Provincial Forest Protection Department (FPD) conducted a field survey in A Yun Pa, the results of which were used to formulate a feasibility study for the establishment of a nature reserve at the site.
In 2001, BirdLife and FIPI produced a feasibility study recommending that a 44,268 ha nature reserve with a buffer zone of 54,190 ha be established at A Yun Pa (Tran Quang Ngoc et al., 2001). A Yun Pa is included on a proposed list of protected areas currently being prepared by FPD and FIPI as a nature reserve.