Ya Lop lies on the Tay Nguyen plateau, and consists of an area of currently undisturbed dry deciduous forest in the north-west of Dak Lak province, adjacent to the border with Cambodia. The boundary of the IBA is defined by a belt of forest around the outer side of the Ya Lop and Ea H'Leo rivers, such that both banks of each of these rivers are included. Rainfall is relatively low at the site and very seasonal.
Ya Lop supports significant populations of a number of bird species, including Green Peafowl Pavo muticus and Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus.
Non-bird biodiversity: Le Xuan Canh et al. (1997) recorded Gaur Bos gaurus and Banteng bos javanicus at Ya Lop from tracks and signs in the field.
Habitat and land use
The dominant habitat at the site is dry deciduous forest. Within this forest, lowland evergreen forest and mixed forest are distributed along rivers and streams. The forest at Ya Lop has been selectively logged by Ya Lop Forestry Enterprise. However, logging degrades dry deciduous forest to a lesser degree than it does evergreen forest. The riparian forest along the Ea H'Leo and Ya Lop rivers largely remains in a good condition (Le Xuan Canh et al., 1997).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Biodiversity at Ya Lop is threatened by the rapid spread of human settlements and agricultural expansion along the Ya Lop and Ea H'Leo rivers. Apart from the direct loss of habitat, the increase in human population in the area will lead to greater pressure on the site from wood collection, grazing, fishing and hunting.
Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
In 1997, WWF Indochina Programme and IUCN conducted a field survey of large mammals in Dak Lak province, including Ya Lop (Le Xuan Canh et al., 1997). Incidental records of birds were also made during the survey.In 1998 Brickle et al. (1998) carried out a field survey of Green Peafowl Pavo muticus in Dak Lak province. The study aimed to investigate the range and status, habitat use and population size of Green Peafowl in the province, and identify key areas and management considerations for the species. The survey also recorded other bird and mammal species.
In 1998, FIPI prepared a revised investment plan for Yok Don National Park. This investment plan proposed expanding the national park, including a northwards extension into Ea So district. This investment plan has been approved by Dak Lak PPC, and it is expected that it will also be approved by MARD during 2001.