Xuan Thuy

Year of compilation: 2002

Site description
Xuan Thuy Nature Reserve is situated in the coastal zone of the Red River Delta, at the mouth of the main channel of the Red River, known as the Ba Lat River. The southern boundary is formed by the Vop River. The site comprises three islands and intervening areas of intertidal mudflats. Ngan island, the largest island, consists mainly of aquacultural ponds, most of which contain mangrove. Lu island consists of a large sandy area, as well as coastal marshes and a small area of aquacultural ponds. Xanh island, the smallest island, is a thin sandy island, which is still increasing in size as a result of deposition of sediment carried by the Red River. This island together with parts of Lu island, is submerged at high tide.

Key biodiversity
The site is an important staging and wintering area for migraory waterbirds. During surveys in 1988 and 1994, more than 20,000 waterbirds were observed. During the spring of 1996, it was estimated that 33,000 shorebirds passed through the nature reserve.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The site has insufficient funding, infrastructure and the nature reserve staff have limited training. Due to these constraints the staff are unable to plan and implement effective wetland management. Direct threats are listed in the data view.

Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
In order to ensure the long-term sustainability of the nature reserve, three things are necessary. Firstly, a programme of training for nature reserve staff. Secondly, a management plan that balances the economic, coastal protection and biodiversity values of different habitat types and promotes environmentally land-use practices. Thirdly, a financing machanism for the nature reserve that reduces the dependence of nature reserve managers on funds for mangrove afforestation, an activity which is incompatible with conservation of mudflats and the globally threatened bird species that depend on them.

Habitat and land use
Xuan Thuy Nature Reserve supports a total of 14 habitat types, including both natural and man-made ones. The habitat types with the greatest biodiversity value are undisturbed mudflats and natural mangroves. Luu island supports extensive Casuarina equisetifolia plantations, which are an important habitat for migratory passerines.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Xuan Thuy. Downloaded from on 23/05/2022.