email a friend
printable version
Location Vietnam, Ha Tinh
Central coordinates 105o 26.00' East  18o 17.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 55,950 ha
Altitude 30 - 2,286m
Year of IBA assessment 2002

BirdLife Indochina Programme (BirdLife Direct Action Programme)

Site description This IBA comprises Vu Quang Nature Reserve which stretches from the lowlands to the Annamite Mountains. At the landscape level, Vu Quang Nature Reserve is an important link in the Annamite Mountains, between Pu Mat Nature Reserve to the north and Phong Nha Nature Reserve to the south. Vu Quang, together with Nakai-Nam Theun National Biodiversity Conservation Area in Laos, protects the central section of what is perhaps the largest remaining block of contiguous natural habitat in northern Indochina.

Key Biodiversity A total of 273 bird species are known from Vu Quang Nature Reserve, including 21 globally threatened or near-threatened species. Vu Quang lies in the Annamese Lowlands Endemic Bird Area (EBA). However, the site only supports three restricted-range species, Crested Argus Rheinardia ocellata, Short-tailed Scimitar Babbler Jabouilleia danjoui and Grey-faced Tit Babbler Macronous kelleyi, none of which are restricted to the EBA. In addition, results of a complimentarity analysis with 13 other protected areas in the Annamese Lowlands EBA reveal that Vu Quang Nature Reserve does not fall within the critical sub-set of sites necessary to conserve maximum avifaunal diversity, and should not, therefore, be considered to be a regional bird conservation priority (Eames et al., in press).

Non-bird biodiversity: In 1992 a previously undescribed large mammal species, Saola Pseudoryx nghetinhensis was discovered in Vu Quang Nature Reserve, this was followed by the discovery of another large mammal species, Giant Muntjac Megamuntiacus vuquangensis in 1993. In the years since these discoveries, however, both species have been recorded at a number of other sites in Vietnam and Laos. Consequently, the importance of Vu Quang as a site for mammal conservation may not be as high as was at one time supposed, although the site does support populations of a number of other mammal species of conservation concern, including Gaur Bos gaurus and Red-shanked Douc Langur Pygathrix nemaeus nemaeus. 21 globally threatened or near-threatened species are known from Vu Quang.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Crested Argus Rheinardia ocellata resident  2002  present  A1  Near Threatened 
Grey-faced Tit-babbler Macronous kelleyi resident  1997  1 unknown  good  A2  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Vu Quang Nature Reserve 55,950 is identical to site 16,000  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Hill evergreen forest (subtropical); Montane broadleaf evergreen forest; Semi-evergreen rain forest (tropical)  65%
Shrubland Secondary scrub  20%
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Forestry & agro-industrial plantations  15%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 100%
agriculture 10%
urban/industrial/transport 5%
Notes: Small settlements.

Further web sources of information 

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

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Vu Quang. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife