Sites - Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)
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U Minh Thuong
Vietnam, Kien Giang
105o 5.00' East 9o 35.00' North
A1, A3, A4i
0 - 2m
Year of IBA assessment
BirdLife Indochina Programme (BirdLife Direct Action Programme)
Site description The IBA is centred on U Minh Thuong Nature Reserve, which comprises semi-natural Melaleuca forest, seasonally inundated grassland and open swamp. The IBA also includes the buffer zone of the nature reserve, most of which consists of paddyfields with small patches of Melaleuca plantation. Finally, the IBA includes a large block of Melaleuca plantation to the north-west of the nature reserve, which supports an important breeding colony of wetland birds but which is currently under the management of the local prison.
Non-bird biodiversity: U Minh Thuong harbours a diversity of flora, including many rare and endemic species. Safford et al (1998) indentified 155 plant species. These comprised 52 species in forest, 49 in grassland, 34 on riverbanks and 66 aquatics. Among these is the duckweed, Lemna tenera, which is rare throughout its range in South-East Asia but common in U Minh Thuong. The forest and wetlands of U Minh Thuong support many rare and endangered animal species. There is evidence for the continued occurance of the globally threatened Hairy-nosed Otter Lutra sumatrana (Nguyen Xuan Dang verbally). Safford et al. (1998) recorded Sunda Pangolin Manis javanicus and Fishing Cat Prionailurus viverrinus. In addition, Safford et al. (1998) received annecdotal reports of the occurrence of Long-tailed Macaque Macaca fascicularis and also recorded the Malayan Snail-eating Turtle Malayemys subtrijuga and Yellow-headed Temple Turtle Hiermemys annandalii.
Abandoned farmland, disturbed ground; Improved pasture land; Perennial crops, orchards and groves; Rice paddies; Small settlements, rural gardens
Artificial wetlands; Permanent swamps; Rivers and streams
Extent (% of site)
Notes: Permanent Agriculture.
nature conservation and research
Notes: 8038 ha core area
Protection status U Minh Thuong Nature reserve was established in 1993 and is contained by the IBA (overlap = 8509 ha).The core zone of U Minh Thuong Nature Reserve, which covers an area of 8,509 ha, is currently under the management of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) and protected by the provincial Forestry Protection Department (FPD). The core zone is surrounded by a bufferzone of 13,291. The bufferzone was defined in 1993, when a government- sponsored land allocation programme resulted in the settlement of nearly 20,000 landless people into the area. It is unclear whether the buffer zone is included within the nature reserve or not. The project document for the CARE U Minh Thuong Conservation and Community Development Project gives the total area of U Minh Thuong as 21,800 ha, which incudes both the core and buffer zones. According to the Ministry of Forestry, however, buffer zones are contiguous to, but outside of, special-use forests.
References Birdlife International and the Forest Inventory and Planning Instutute (2001) Sourcebook of existing and proposed protected areas in Vietnam. Hanoi, Vietnam: BirdLife International Vietnam Programme and the Forest Inventory and Planning Institute.Buckton, S. T., Ngyuyen Cu, Nguyen Duc Tu and Ha Quy Quynh (1999) The conservation of key wetland sites in the Mekong delta. Hanoi: Birdlife International Vietnam programme.CARE International in Vietnam (1998) U Minh Thuong Nature Reserve Conservation and Community Development Project. Unpublished report to the U Minh Thuong Nature Reserve Conservation and Community Development Project.Safford, R. J., Tran Triet, Maltby, E. and Duong Van Ni (1998) Status, biodiversity and management of the U Minh wetlands, Vietnam. Tropical Biodiversity 5(3): 217-244Nguyen Phuc Bao Hoa in prep.Safford unpublished 1996-1997.
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BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: U Minh Thuong. Downloaded from
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