|Location||Vietnam, Kien Giang|
|Central coordinates||105o 5.00' East 9o 35.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A3, A4i|
|Altitude||0 - 2m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2004|
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.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala||non-breeding||2000||unknown [units unknown]||-||A4i||Near Threatened|
|Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus||resident||2000||unknown [units unknown]||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Purple Heron Ardea purpurea||breeding||2001||unknown [units unknown]||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Great Egret Casmerodius albus||unknown||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|Little Cormorant Phalacrocorax niger||breeding||2000||unknown [units unknown]||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Rufous-winged Buzzard Butastur liventer||resident||1997||unknown [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio||resident||1997||unknown [units unknown]||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Bronze-winged Jacana Metopidius indicus||resident||1997||unknown [units unknown]||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Oriental Pratincole Glareola maldivarum||unknown||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Asian Emerald Cuckoo Chrysococcyx maculatus||winter||2000||unknown [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Common Woodshrike Tephrodornis pondicerianus||resident||2000||unknown [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Indochinese Cuckooshrike Coracina polioptera||resident||1998||unknown [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Small Minivet Pericrocotus cinnamomeus||resident||1998||unknown [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Racket-tailed Treepie Crypsirina temia||resident||1999||unknown [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Indochinese Bushlark Mirafra erythrocephala||resident||1997||unknown [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Streak-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus blanfordi||resident||1999||unknown [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Chestnut-tailed Starling Sturnus malabaricus||resident||1999||unknown [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|White-shouldered Starling Sturnus sinensis||winter||2000||unknown [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Black-collared Starling Sturnus nigricollis||resident||1999||unknown [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Vinous-breasted Starling Sturnus burmannicus||resident||1999||unknown [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Plain-backed Sparrow Passer flaveolus||resident||1999||unknown [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|U Minh Thuong||Nature Reserve||8,509||protected area contained by site||8,038|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Forest||Mangrove forest (tropical); Peat swamp forest (tropical)||20%|
|Artificial landscapes (terrestrial)||Abandoned farmland, disturbed ground; Improved pasture land; Perennial crops, orchards and groves; Rice paddies; Small settlements, rural gardens||50%|
|Wetlands (inland)||Artificial wetlands; Permanent swamps; Rivers and streams||15%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|Notes: Permanent Agriculture.|
|nature conservation and research||36%|
|Notes: 8038 ha core area|
Other 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.
Management considerations Threats to the natural environment of U Minh Thuong Nature Reserve include: forest fires, degradation and decomposition of peat layers, illegal hunting and trapping of animals, and, development of tourism related infrastructure.
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.
Conservation response Within the north-west corner of the buffer zone is a 1,1190 ha area, which is uninhabited and supports one of the most important and largest bird colonies in the Mekong Delta. Although this area is effectively protected under management of a local prison, this part of the site should be incorporated into the nature reserve to ensure its long-term integrity.
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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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: U Minh Thuong. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/05/2013
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