Che Tao is situated in the Hoang Lien mountains in northern Vietnam. The IBA is centred on Che Tao commune and also includes adjacent areas in Yen Bai and Son La provinces. The topography of the IBA is dominated by a horseshoe of mountains which forms the boundary of Che Tao commune. There are many peaks above 2,000 m in this horseshoe while elevations in the central valley are generally below 1,500 m.
The IBA is notable for its intact montane avifauna.
Non-bird biodiversity: Interview data and field records presented by Tordoff et al. (2001) suggest that two groups of Phayre's Langur Trachypithecus phayrei, totalling 22 to 25, although possibly as many as 38, individuals still occur near Na Hang village, and that both groups are breeding. The T. phayrei population is seriously threatened by hunting.Che Tao supports the largest known population of Western Black Crested Gibbon in Vietnam. The population at the site is thought to number around 100 individuals. The biggest threat to the population is hunting, although this appears to have reduced in recent years.Tordoff et al. (2001) recorded two globally threatened turtle species based on reports of local people: Impressed Tortoise Manouria impressa and Big-headed Turtle Platysternon megacephalum. One additional species was recorded by Long et al. (2000) at interview: Black-breasted Leaf Turtle Geomyda spengleri.Long et al. (2000) recorded two globally threatened gymnosperms: Calocedrus macrolepis and Fokienia hodginsii. Tordoff et al. (2001) report that in places, F. hodginsii comprises over 25% of the mature trees.Long et al. (2000) recorded Southern Serow Naemorhedus sumatraensis which is the commonest ungulate species at Che Tao. Although this species is commonly hunted it is not under immediate threat at Che Tao.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Che Tao. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/01/2022.