The IBA is located on the eastern coast of peninsular Thailand, and comprises a large bay called Ao Bandon. Several rivers discharge into the Gulf of Thailand at the site, and the sediment deposited by them has given rise to extensive mudflats and offshore bars, averaging 1 to 2 km in width at low tide. On the landward side of the mudflats, there are some shrimp ponds and degraded mangroves. The mangroves at the site formerly covered a much larger area but have been extensively cleared, converted to aquaculture and reclaimed for other land uses. The most important stretches of mangrove remaining are along the Ta Pi estuary and at Laem Kum Mor. Twenty five mangrove species have been identified at the site, including Avicennia officionalis, A. alba, Sonneratia caseolaris, Rhizophora spp. and Xylocarpus granatum.
The site is an important staging area for migratory and wintering shorebirds, and regularly supports greater than 20,000 waterbirds. The most abundant waterbird species at the site include Little Cormorant Phalacrocorax niger, Intermediate Egret Mesophoyx intermedia, Little Egret Egretta garzetta, Little Heron Butorides striatus, Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva and Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus. In addition, the mangroves at the site support the globally near-threatened Mangrove Pitta Pitta megarhyncha, while small numbers of Malaysian Plover Charadrius peronii, which is also globally near-threatened, have also been recorded at the site.
Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals Surat Serotine Eptesicus demissus (VU) Smooth-coated Otter Lutrogale perspicillata (VU)
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ao Bandon. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/01/2022.