Bach Ma

Year of compilation: 2002

Site description
This IBA comprises Bach Ma National Park, situated towards the southern end of the Annamite mountains. The national park lies on a high mountain ridge that runs west-east from the Laotian border to the East Sea at the Hai Van pass. Bach Ma National Park is probably the wettest place in Vietnam. The Bach Ma area supports a wide range of habitat types, from coastal lagoon to montane forest. Bach Ma is situated at a biogeographic boundary between northern and southern Vietnam, and between the Annamite mountains and the coastal plain.

Key biodiversity
The national park lies at the southern extent of the Annamese Lowland Endemic Bird Area (EBA), and is known to support five of the restricted-range species found in this EBA, including Edwards's Pheasant Lophura edwardsi and Crested Argus Rheinardia ocellata. Also of conservation importance, Bach Ma National Park supports an endemic subspecies of Silver Pheasant Lophura nycthemera beli.

Non-bird biodiversity: The following species are listed in the investment plan as occurring at the site: Pygmy Loris Nycticebus pygmaeus, Rhesus Macaque Macaca mulatta, Long-tailed Macaque Macaca fascicularis, Stump-tailed Macaque Macaca arctoides, Red-shanked Douc Langur Pygathrix nemaeus nemaeus and Yellow-cheeked Crested or White-cheeked Crested Gibbon Nomascus gabrielle/ leucogenys. However, the source of the data is not clear, and therefore these records should be considered to be provisional.In addition, Giant Muntjac Megamuntiacus vuquangensis, Southern Serow Naemorhedus sumatraensis and Saola Pseudoryx nghetinhensis are also listed in the investment plan as occurring at the site. Again, the source of the data is not clear, and so therefore these records should also be considered to be provisional. A number of threatened conifer species are also provisionally listed for the site.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Large areas of forest in the national park were destroyed by defoliants, bombing and use of heavy machinery during the Second Indochina War. Subsequent commercial logging by state forest enterprises over a 10-year period resulted in the removal of most commercially valuable trees. Since the cessation of official logging operations, large scale illegal exploitation of both timber and non-timber forest products has continued. Forest fires, particularly in the regenerating forest, have contributed to the degradation and inhibited regeneration.Collection of forest products is a major source of income for the inhabitants of the buffer zone, who reported that supplies of certain forest products are now exhausted near to the villages. This indicates that forest product exploitation is occurring at unsustainable levels.

Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
In order to extend the conservation coverage of the national park, BirdLife and FIPI proposed a 22,500 ha extension to the east. Between 1995 and 1997, WWF implemented a European Commission-funded project entitled Particpatory Development of Bach Ma National Park. This project resulted in the development of a national park management plan, an ecotourism development plan and a socio-economic assessment of the buffer zone communities.

Protected areas
Bach Ma National Park also has a wider significance as a link in the last chain of contiguous natural forest between the Laotian border and the East Sea. Bach Ma will form part of the planned Green Corridor landscape-level conservation project.

Habitat and land use
The main forest types found within the national park are lowland evergreen forest below 900 m, and montane evergreen forest above this elevation. As a result of human disturbance, however, no undisturbed forest now remains, and the dominant habitats at the national park are scrub and grassland. Natural regeneration of scrub and grassland is slow, particularly as a result of periodic burning, and these areas are of little conservation importance. Overall, plant diversity within the remaining forest areas is, however, still high. There are still two communities living inside the national park, however, these number only 65 households. In comparison, 61,387 people live in the buffer zone of the national park.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2018) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Bach Ma. Downloaded from on 23/09/2018.