Site description (2004 baseline)
The IBA comprises the Bala sector of Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary, which is located at the southernmost tip of peninsular Thailand, on the international border with Malaysia. To the west of the site is the Hala sector of Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary (within IBA TH059), from which the site is separated by a major highway, which forms an effective barrier to the dispersal of some species. The topography of the site is more predominantly lowland than that of the Hala sector. Due to the wet, aseasonal climate, the site supports wet evergreen forest.
The site supports a rich and diverse lowland evergreen forest avifauna, with a significant Sundaic component. All six globally threatened species recorded at the site are characteristic of the Sundaic region. These include Short-toed Coucal Centropus rectunguis, which is only known from one other site in Thailand (Hala Sector, Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary and Bang Lang National Park, IBA TH059). The site supports at least 63 globally near-threatened species, including two species known from nowhere else in Thailand: Garnet Pitta Pitta granatina and Finsch's Bulbul Alophoixus finschii. The site also supports seven hornbill species, a diversity unparalleled in the rest of the country, comprising Helmeted Hornbill Buceros vigil, Rhinoceros Hornbill B. rhinoceros, Great Hornbill B. bicornis, Plain-pouched Hornbill Aceros subruficollis, Wrinkled Hornbill A. corrugatus, White-crowned Hornbill A. comatus and Black Hornbill Anthracoceros malayanus. The site qualifies under criterion A3 because it supports 111 species restricted to the Sundaic Lowland Forests (Biome 14).
Non-bird biodiversity: The following list of globally threatened species is a combined list for both sectors of Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary; some of the species on the list may not occur in the Bala sector but only in the Hala sector. Mammals Hairy Rhinoceros Dicerorhinus sumatrensis (CR) Asian Elephant Elephas maximus (EN) Tiger Panthera tigris (EN) Asian Tapir Tapirus indicus (EN) Clouded Leopard Neofelis nebulosa (VU) Reptiles Spiny Turtle Heosemys spinosa (EN) Elongated Tortoise Indotestudo elongata (EN) Asian Giant Tortoise Manouria emys (EN) Cantor's Giant Softshell Pelochelys cantorii (EN) Giant Asian Pond Turtle Heosemys grandis (VU) Malayan Flat-shelled Turtle Notochelys platynota (VU) Amphibians Larut Hills Caecilian Caudacaecilia larutensis (VU) Supachai's Caecilian Ichthyophis supachaii (VU) Plants Dipterocarpus dyeri (CR) Dipterocarpus grandiflorus (CR) Dipterocarpus kerrii (CR) Shorea farinosa (CR) Shorea singkawang (CR) Anisoptera curtisii (EN) Dipterocarpus costatus (EN) Hopea pedicellata (EN) Shorea faguetiana (EN) Shorea henryana (EN) Shorea leprosula (EN) Vatica stapfiana (EN) Canarium pseudodecumanum (VU) Cotylelobium lanceolatum (VU) Cynometra inaequifolia (VU) Fordia pauciflora (VU) Hopea griffithii (VU) Knema hookerana (VU) Neobalanocarpus heimii (VU)
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Bala Sector, Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/site/factsheet/bala-sector-hala-bala-wildlife-sanctuary-iba-thailand on 05/12/2023.