This IBA comprises Hoang Lien Son-Sa Pa Nature Reserve. The Nature Reserve is located in the Hoang Lien mountains, which are an extension of the Ailao Shan mountains in China, the south-eastern extent of the Himalayan chain. The nature reserve is located on the north-east flank of these mountains and includes Vietnam's highest peak, Mount Fan Si Pan (3,143 m). Most of the site lies above 1,000 m. Hoang Lien Son-Sa Pa contains approximately 11,000 ha of natural forest. Variations in altitude, topography, hydrology and micro-climate within the nature reserve have produced a wide variety of habitat types, which can be broadly classified into scrub, savanna, submontane dry evergreen forest, montane deciduous forest, sub-alpine forest and dwarf bamboo. Mammal diversity and abundance are relatively low as a result of intensive hunting pressure. Biodiversity at the site is threatened by over-exploitation of natural resources, clearance of land for agriculture, accidental fire and hunting.
Hoang Lien Son-Sa Pa supports high bird diversity. 347 bird species have been recorded in and around the nature reserve, including 49 species that are restricted in Vietnam to north-west Tonkin.
Non-bird biodiversity: Tordoff et al. (1999) recorded five threatened primate species at Hoang Lien Son-Sa Pa on the basis of interviews and specimens: Pygmy Loris Nycticebus pygmaeus, Assamese Macaque Macaca assamensis, Rhesus Macaque Macaca mulatta, Stump-tailed Macaque Macaca arctoides and Black Crested Gibbon Nomascus concolor.Hoang Lien Son-Sa Pa supports Fokienia hodginsii (Tordoff et al., 1999).Tordoff et al. (1999) recorded the presence of Southern Serow Naemorhedus sumatraensis at Hoang Lien Son-Sa Pa, on the basis of interviews.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Fan Si Pan. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/02/2020.