In this article is about Vietnamese Endemic Bird Areas to give you an overview to see why Vietnam has high diversity of Birds and many of them are endemic.
What is Endemic Bird Areas
An Endemic Bird Area (EBA) is an area of land identified by BirdLife International as being important for habitat-based bird conservation because it contains the habitats of restricted-range bird species (see below for definition), which are thereby endemic to them.
An EBA is formed where the distributions of two or more such restricted-range species overlap. Using this guideline, 218 EBAs were identified when Birdlife International established their Biodiversity project in 1987. A secondary EBA comprises the range of only one restricted-range species, or an area which is only the partial breeding range of a range-restricted species.
EBAs contain about 93% of the world’s restricted-range bird species, as well as supporting support many more widespread species. Half the restricted-range species are threatened or near-threatened, with the other half especially vulnerable to the loss or degradation of their habitats because of the small size of their ranges.
Most EBAs are also important for the conservation of other animals and of plants. Although they cover less than 5% of the world’s land surface, their biological richness makes them high priorities for ecosystem conservation. The natural habitat of most EBAs is forest, especially tropical lowland forest and highland cloud forest, often comprising islands or mountain ranges, and varying in size from a few square kilometres to over 100,000 km2. Some 77% of EBAs lie in the tropics and subtropics.
Vietnamese Endemic Bird Areas
Endemic bird areas (EBAs) are areas to which at least two restricted-range bird species (species with a total global breeding range of less than 50,000 km2) are entirely confined.
An analysis conducted by BirdLife International in 1998 identified three EBAs in Vietnam: The Annamese Lowlands, The Da Lat Plateau and the The South Vietnamese Lowlands. However, recent studies have revealed the presence of two others: The Kon Tum Plateau EBA and The South-East Chinese Mountains EBA. In addition, Vietnam contains part of the The Fan Si Pan and Northern Laos Secondary Area.
The Annamese Lowlands EBA is situated in the lowlands of north-central Vietnam, and also includes a small area in central Laos. The natural vegetation of the EBA is lowland evergreen forest, with smaller areas of limestone forest, although a large proportion of the EBA has been deforested, and much of the remaining natural vegetation is highly fragmented.
The Annamese Lowlands EBA supports nine restricted-range species, of which five are entirely confined to it: Annam Partridge (Arborophila merlini), Imperial Pheasant (Lophura imperialis), Vietnamese Pheasant (L. hatinhensis), Edwards’s Pheasant (L. edwardsi) and Sooty Babbler (Stachyris herbeti). There is, however, considerable debate over the taxonomic status of Annam Partridge, Imperial Pheasant and Vietnamese Pheasant, and it is possible that none of them should be afforded the rank of species.
The Kon Tum Plateau EBA is situated in the northern Central Highlands, and also includes a small area in central Laos. The natural vegetation of the EBA comprises montane evergreen forest.
The Kon Tum Plateau EBA supports nine restricted-range species, of which three are entirely confined to it: Black-crowned Barwing, Golden-winged Laughingthrush and Chestnut-eared Laughingthrush. All three of these species were only discovered in the late 1990s, making the Kon TumPlateau the most recently identified EBA in Asia.
The Da Lat Plateau EBA is situated in the southern Central Highlands. The natural vegetation of the EBA is montane evergreen forest and coniferous forest. Eight restricted-range species occur in the EBA, all but one of which are found in montane evergreen forest.
Three restricted-range species are entirely confined to the EBA: Collared Laughingthrush, Grey-crowned Crocias and Vietnam Greenfinch. In addition, the EBA supports a number of endemic subspecies, for example a subspecies of Spot-breasted Laughingthrush (Garrulax merulinus annamensis), some of which are treated as full species by certain authors.
The South Vietnamese Lowlands EBA is situated in the lowlands of south-central Vietnam, and also includes a small area in south-eastern Cambodia. The natural vegetation of the EBA comprises lowland evergreen forest and lowland semi-evergreen forest.
Only three restricted-range species are found in the EBA, of which two are entirely confined to it: Orange-necked Partridge (Arborophila davidi) and Germain’s Peacock Pheasant (Polyplectron germaini). Until recently, both species were considered to be endemic to Vietnam, although they have since been recorded in south-eastern Cambodia.
The South-East Chinese Mountains EBA supports five restricted-range species, only one of which is known to occur in Vietnam: White-eared Night Heron (Gorsachius magnificus). Within Vietnam, there are recent, confirmed records of White-eared Night Heron from only a single site in the north of the country.
The Fan Si Pan and Northern Laos Secondary Area supports four restricted-range species, all of which are also known from other EBAs: Ward’s Trogon (Harpactes wardi), Red-winged Laughingthrush (Garrulax formosus), Broad-billed Warbler (Tickellia hodgsoni) and Yellow-billed Nuthatch (Sitta solangiae). There have been no confirmed records of Ward’s Trogon from Vietnam since historical times, although the species may still occur somewhere in the Hoang Lien mountains
Tordoff, A. W. ed. (2002) Directory of Important Bird Areas in Vietnam : key sites for conservation. Hanoi : BirdLife International in Indochina and the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources
Stattersfield, A. J., Crosby, M. J., Long, A. J. and Wege, D. C. (1998) Endemic bird areas of the world: priorities for biodiversity conservation. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International