VN035 Vietnam Bird Watching Khe Net

VN035 Vietnam Bird Watching  Criteria: A1, A2 & A3

vn035-300x300Province(s):          Quang Binh
PA Status:            None

Latitude:               18º02’N
Longitude:            105º58’E
Area:                     23,524 ha
Altitude Range:    80-494 m asl                     

EBA / SA: Annamese Lowlands EBA
Priority Landscape:  NA5 – Ke Go and Khe Net Lowlands

General Description

The IBA comprises Khe Net proposed nature reserve, which is situated in the Annamese lowlands. The topography of the IBA is characterised by low hills, which support a large area of lowland evergreen forest. The forest in the IBA is currently under the management of Tuyen Hoa Forest Enterprise, although commercial logging activities ceased in 19971. Most of the forest in the IBA has been heavily degraded by commercial logging activities, although there remain significant areas of relatively undisturbed forest in remote and inaccessible areas and on steep slopes. In addition to the lowland evergreen forest, there are some small patches of limestone forest in the south-west and south-east of the IBA2. To the north, Khe Net IBA is contiguous with Ke Go IBA.

Bird Fauna: Key Features

Together with the contiguous Ke Go IBA, Khe Net IBA supports one of the largest remaining areas of lowland evergreen forest in the Annamese lowlands. Most significantly, the two sites support the only known population of the globally endangered Vietnamese Pheasant Lophura hatinhensis in the world. In addition, Khe Net IBA supports populations of five other restricted-range species of the Annamese Lowlands Endemic Bird Area: Annam Partridge Arborophila merlini, Imperial Pheasant L. imperialis, Crested Argus Rheinardia ocellata, Short-tailed Scimitar Babbler Jabouilleia danjoui and Grey-faced Tit Babbler Macronous kelleyi. Recent taxonomic research, however, indicates that Imperial Pheasant may not be a true species but, rather, a hybrid between Vietnamese Pheasant or Edwards’s Pheasant or L. edwardsi and Silver Pheasant L. nycthemera3.

Species IBACriteria Global Threat Status OtherIBAs Notes
Vietnamese PheasantLophura hatinhensis A1, A2 EN 1 At least eight birds were observed during one week’s fieldwork in June and July 19944. A further three birds were observed in lowland evergreen forest at 200 m asl in July 20002.
Crested ArgusRheinardia ocellata A1, A2 VU 15 The species was heard calling from ridge tops in June and July 19944.
Chestnut-necklaced PartridgeArborophila charltonii A1 NT 7 The species was recorded between June and July 19944. The species was heard calling on numerous occasions between June and July 2000, and a single female was caught2.
Siamese FirebackLophura diardi A1, A3 NT 13 The species was recorded between June and July 19944.
Red-collared WoodpeckerPicus rabieri A1, A3 NT 11 The species was recorded between June and July 1994, and between June and July 20002,4.
[Great HornbillBuceros bicornis] A1 NT 14 The species was provisionally recorded in 20002.
Brown HornbillAnorrhinus tickelli A1, A3 NT 16 The species was recorded between June and July 19944. During July 2000, the species was observed on four days, in flocks ranging in size from 6 to 18 birds2.
Blyth’s KingfisherAlcedo hercules A1, A3 NT 8 The species was recorded between June and July 19944, and between June and July 20002, along the Khe Che, Khe Mon and Khe Da Ma streams.
Short-tailed Scimitar BabblerJabouilleia danjoui A1, A2 NT 17 The species was recorded between June and July 1994, and between June and July 20002,4.
Imperial PheasantLophura imperialis A1, A2 DD 2 In February 1990, an immature male was trapped by rattan collectors, 12 km to the west of Cat Bin5. While the precise locality is not certain, it appears to lie on the border between Ke Go Nature Reserve and Khe Net proposed nature reserve.
Annam PartridgeArborophila merlini A2 4 Three birds were observed in June 20002.
Grey-faced Tit BabblerMacronous kelleyi A2 12 The species was recorded between June and July 1994, and between June and July 20002,4.

Notes: [ ] = unconfirmed record.

Biome Restricted Species: The site qualifies under criterion A3 because it supports 18 species restricted to the Indochinese Tropical Moist Forests (Biome 09). See Appendix 4 for details.

Secondary Criteria

Species                                                 Status      

[Northern Slow Loris Nyticebus bengalensis]2            DD
[Red-shanked Douc Pygathrix nemaeus nemaeus]2           EN
Northern Pigtail Macaque Macaca leonina2                 VU
[White-cheeked Gibbon Nomascus leucogenys]2               DD
[Assamese Macaque Macaca assamensis]2                 VU
Podocarpus neriifolius
2                                                      DD
[Rhesus Macaque Macaca mulatta]2                           NT
[Gaur Bos gaurus]2                                                            VU
Stump-tailed Macaque Macaca arctoides2                   VU
Southern Serow Naemorhedus sumatraensis2                   VU
Hatinh Langur
Trachypithecus francoisi hatinhensis2                      EN

Notes: [ ] = unconfirmed record.                                                                                                                                                            

Threats to Biodiversity
Threat Severity
Agricultural intensification / expansion
Hunting ●  ●
Selective logging / cutting

Past commercial logging activities by Tuyen Hoa Forest Enterprise have led to the degradation of large areas of natural habitat within the IBA, including the key habitat for Vietnamese Pheasant: lowland evergreen forest. While commercial logging largely ceased in 1997, many households in the buffer zone of the proposed nature reserve are dependent on natural resources, and continue to extract timber and other forest products on a small scale. In addition to habitat degradation, hunting is a major threat to biodiversity at Khe Net. Snaring is widespread within the IBA, and threatens the populations of a number of key bird species, especially galliformes, such as Vietnamese Pheasant and Crested Argus.

Conservation Actions

In 2001, a feasibility study for the establishment of a protected area at Khe Net was prepared, and proposed establishing a 23,524 ha nature reserve2.

Recommendations
  • Khe Net should be decreed as a nature reserve by the government of Vietnam, and a management board should be established.
  • Protected area management regulations, particularly controls on hunting, timber extraction and NTFP collection, should be strictly enforced, particularly controls on snaring.
  • A programme of environmental awareness activities should be initiated in the surrounding area to raise awareness among local communities and decision makers about the values of the IBA and to promote sustainable natural resource use.
  • Further studies should be conducted to assess the status and distribution of Vietnamese Pheasant and other restricted-range species at the IBA.