Nong Bong Kai

Country/territory: Thailand

IBA criteria met: A1, A3, A4i (2004)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 6,240 ha

Bird Conservation Society of Thailand
IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) Threat (pressure) Condition (state) Action (response)
2007 high very unfavourable low
For more information about IBA monitoring, please click here

Site description (baseline)
The IBA is located adjacent to the international borders with Lao P.D.R. and Myanmar, and comprises a stretch of the main Mekong channel, a small freshwater lake, pools, swamps, rice paddies, grazing marshes and other alluvial floodplain habitats. Of particular importance are the Mekong channel habitats, including both rapid and slow-flowing stretches, sand and shingle bars and exposed bedrock, vegetated islands, and branching channels. The larger sandbanks are vegetated with Homonoia riparia scrub. The IBA includes the 434 ha Nong Bong Kai Non-Hunting Area, a swamp, which was designated as a Ramsar Site in 2001. Dominant aquatic plants at Nong Bong Kai include Salvia cucullata, Lemna perpusilla, Cyperus malaccensis and Phragmites karka. The IBA is adjacent to IBA LA027 in Lao P.D.R. (Upper Lao Mekong), which includes the section of the main Mekong channel on the Lao side of the international border.

Key biodiversity
The site is of major importance for both resident and migratory bird species, most especially ducks and waders. The site supports significant wintering populations of the globally threatened Baer's Pochard Aythya baeri and the globally near-threatened Ferruginous Pochard A. nyroca. Other globally threatened wildfowl recorded include Baikal Teal Anas formosa and Swan Goose Anser cygnoides, both vagrants (in winter) to Thailand. Other wintering waterfowl recorded at the site that are scarce or absent elsewhere in Thailand include Bar-headed Goose Anser indicus, Greylag Goose A. anser, Common Pochard Aythya ferina, Tufted Duck A. fuligula and Mandarin Duck Aix galericulata. The site is also important for wintering gulls, terns and waders, including more than 1% of the Asian biogeographic population of Small Pratincole Glareola lactea and Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus. Two globally near-threatened species, Blyth's Kingfisher Alcedo hercules and Black-bellied Tern Sterna acuticauda, have each been recorded at the site once during the decade prior to 2004; the former is known from just one other site in Thailand (Mae Fang National Park IBA TH005), while the latter is now feared nationally extinct. There is also an historical record of the globally vulnerable Blackthroat Luscinia obscura. Furthermore, the site is important for the conservation of a number of nationally threatened resident species: the larger sandbars in the Mekong River between Chiang Saen and Chiang Kong provide breeding habitat for Great Thick-knee Esacus recurvirostris and River Lapwing Vanellus duvaucelii, while the vegetated islands and riverbanks support a significant population of Jerdon's Bushchat Saxicola jerdoni, a species characteristic of the Indo-Gangetic Plains (Biome 12). The site qualifies under criterion A3 because it supports one species (White-tailed Rubythroat Luscinia pectoralis) restricted to the Sino-Himalayan Temperate Forests (Biome 07), one species (Blyth's Kingfisher) restricted to the Sino-Himalayan Subtropical Forests (Biome 08) and one species (Jerdon's Bushchat) restricted to the Indo-Gangetic Plains (Biome 12).

Non-bird biodiversity: Fish Mekong Freshwater Stingray Dasyatis laosensis (EN) Giant Catfish Pangasianodon gigas (EN)

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Nong Bong Kai. Downloaded from on 08/06/2023.