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Location Vietnam, Son La,Yen Bai
Central coordinates 104o 2.00' East  21o 42.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 16,000 ha
Altitude 260 - 2,512m
Year of IBA assessment 2002

BirdLife Indochina Programme (BirdLife Direct Action Programme)

Site description Che Tao is situated in the Hoang Lien mountains in northern Vietnam. The IBA is centred on Che Tao commune and also includes adjacent areas in Yen Bai and Son La provinces. The topography of the IBA is dominated by a horseshoe of mountains which forms the boundary of Che Tao commune. There are many peaks above 2,000 m in this horseshoe while elevations in the central valley are generally below 1,500 m.

Key Biodiversity The IBA is notable for its intact montane avifauna.

Non-bird biodiversity: Interview data and field records presented by Tordoff et al. (2001) suggest that two groups of Phayre's Langur Trachypithecus phayrei, totalling 22 to 25, although possibly as many as 38, individuals still occur near Na Hang village, and that both groups are breeding. The T. phayrei population is seriously threatened by hunting.Che Tao supports the largest known population of Western Black Crested Gibbon in Vietnam. The population at the site is thought to number around 100 individuals. The biggest threat to the population is hunting, although this appears to have reduced in recent years.Tordoff et al. (2001) recorded two globally threatened turtle species based on reports of local people: Impressed Tortoise Manouria impressa and Big-headed Turtle Platysternon megacephalum. One additional species was recorded by Long et al. (2000) at interview: Black-breasted Leaf Turtle Geomyda spengleri.Long et al. (2000) recorded two globally threatened gymnosperms: Calocedrus macrolepis and Fokienia hodginsii. Tordoff et al. (2001) report that in places, F. hodginsii comprises over 25% of the mature trees.Long et al. (2000) recorded Southern Serow Naemorhedus sumatraensis which is the commonest ungulate species at Che Tao. Although this species is commonly hunted it is not under immediate threat at Che Tao.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis resident  2002  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Broad-billed Warbler Tickellia hodgsoni resident  2001  1 unknown  good  A2  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Che Tao SHCA Other 0 protected area overlaps with site 0  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Hill evergreen forest (subtropical); Montane broadleaf evergreen forest  80%
Shrubland Secondary scrub  15%
Artificial - terrestrial Abandoned farmland, disturbed ground  5%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 5%
Notes: Shifting agriculture.
not utilised 95%

Protection status FFI are supporting the establishment of a community-managed species and habitat conservation area. This includes assisting the Mu Cang Chai authorities to initiate conservation activities involving the local community: a forest management board was formed with local community members and local households were encouraged to make written commitments not to hunt gibbons.As of August 2001, the site has not been included on the national list of protected areas but a feasibility study is currently under preparation.

Further web sources of information 

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

References Tordoff, A. W., Le Trong Dat and Hardcastle, J. (2001) A rapid biodiversity survey of Che Tao commune, Mu Cang Chai district, Yen Bai province, Vietnam. Unpublished report to the BirdLife International Vietnam Programme and the Fauna & Flora International Indochina Programme.Long, B., Tallents, L. and Tran Dinh Nghia (2000) The biological diversity of Che Tao commune, Yen Bai province, Vietnam. Unpublished report to Fauna & Flora International Indochina Programme.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Che Tao. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016

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