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Location Vietnam, Nam Dinh
Central coordinates 106o 33.00' East  20o 13.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii
Area 12,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 3m
Year of IBA assessment 2002

BirdLife Indochina Programme (BirdLife Direct Action Programme)

Site description Xuan Thuy Nature Reserve is situated in the coastal zone of the Red River Delta, at the mouth of the main channel of the Red River, known as the Ba Lat River. The southern boundary is formed by the Vop River. The site comprises three islands and intervening areas of intertidal mudflats. Ngan island, the largest island, consists mainly of aquacultural ponds, most of which contain mangrove. Lu island consists of a large sandy area, as well as coastal marshes and a small area of aquacultural ponds. Xanh island, the smallest island, is a thin sandy island, which is still increasing in size as a result of deposition of sediment carried by the Red River. This island together with parts of Lu island, is submerged at high tide.

Key Biodiversity The site is an important staging and wintering area for migraory waterbirds. During surveys in 1988 and 1994, more than 20,000 waterbirds were observed. During the spring of 1996, it was estimated that 33,000 shorebirds passed through the nature reserve.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor winter  2002  present  A1, A4i  Endangered 
Chinese Egret Egretta eulophotes non-breeding  2002  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis non-breeding  2002  present  A1  Near Threatened 
Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea winter  2002  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Grey-tailed Tattler Tringa brevipes passage  2002  present  A4i  Near Threatened 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa winter  1996  1 unknown  good  A4i  Near Threatened 
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata winter  2002  present  A4i  Near Threatened 
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus winter  2002  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Spotted Greenshank Tringa guttifer winter  2002  present  A1, A4i  Endangered 
Dunlin Calidris alpina winter  2002  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Saunders's Gull Saundersilarus saundersi winter  2002  present  A1, A4i  Vulnerable 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  2002  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

IBA Monitoring

2008 medium unfavourable high
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture marine and freshwater aquaculture - industrial aquaculture happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low
Biological resource use fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: large scale happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - type unknown/unrecorded happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low

Artificial - aquatic   13696 11300 83 78 unfavourable

Platalea minor Black-faced Spoonbill 80 70 individuals 88 near favourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A comprehensive and appropriate management plan exists that aims to maintain or improve the populations of qualifying bird species  The conservation measures needed for the site are being comprehensively and effectively implemented  high 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Xuan Thuy Nature Reserve 7,680 is identical to site 7,100  
Xuan Thuy Natural Wetland Reserve Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 12,000 is identical to site 12,000  

Local conservation groups The local conservation group below is working to support conservation at this IBA.

Name Year formed
Xuan Thuy Site Support Group 2006


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Mangrove  -
Wetlands (inland) Artificial wetlands; Estuarine waters; Intertidal mud, sand or salt flats  -
Artificial - terrestrial   -
Artificial - aquatic   minor

Further web sources of information 

Site account from Directory of Important Bird Areas in Vietnam: key sites for conservation (Tordoff 2002)

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.Pedersen, A. and Nguyen Huy Thang (1996) The conservation of key coastal wetland sites in the Red River Delta. Hanoi: BirdLife International Vietnam Programme.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Xuan Thuy. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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