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Location Vietnam, Quang Binh
Central coordinates 106o 16.00' East  17o 29.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 41,132 ha
Altitude 150 - 400m
Year of IBA assessment 2002

BirdLife Indochina Programme (BirdLife Direct Action Programme)

Site description This IBA comprises Phong Nha Nature Reserve, close to the international border with Laos. The nature reserve is situated within one of the largest areas of contiguous limestone karst in Indochina, which also includes Hin Namno National Biodiversity Conservation Area in Laos, and the Ke Bang limestone area in Bo Trach and Minh Hoa districts, Vietnam. The topography of the Phong Nha area is characterised by precipitous karst ridges, which rise to elevations of around 400 m.

Key Biodiversity On the basis of the occurrence of three restricted-range bird species, Phong Nha lies within the Annamese Lowlands Endemic Bird Area. Six species in the this account were recorded by Eames et al. (1994) at the Rao Bong watershed, an area on the periphery of Phong Nha Nature Reserve.

Non-bird biodiversity: Timmins et al.(1999) recorded the following globally threatened primate species at Phong Nha: Assamese Macaque Macaca assamensis, Stump-tailed Macaque Macaca arctoides, Hatinh Langur Trachypithecus francoisi hatinhensis, Wulsin's Black Langur T. f. ebenus and White/Buff-cheeked Gibbon Nomascus leucogenys/gabrielle. However, Timmins et al. advise caution regarding the exact status and taxonomic identity of Wulsin's Black Langur. The globally endangered Red-shanked Douc Langur Pygathrix nemaeus nemaeus has been recorded by several authors, although the faliure of Timmins et al. to record this species led them to conclude that there may have been a major decline in the species at the site.Timmins et al. (1999) have also proviosionally recorded the occurrence of Southern Serow Naemorhedus sumatranesis at Phong Nha.

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 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Phong Nha Nature Reserve 41,132 is identical to site 41,132  
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park World Heritage Site 85,754 protected area overlaps with site 35,488  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Semi-evergreen rain forest (tropical)  94%
Shrubland Secondary scrub  6%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 100%

Protection status Phong Nha was decreed in 1986 as a cultural and historical site. In 1993 an investment plan that proposed that the Special-use Forest category of Phong Nha be changed from cultural and historical site to nature reserve was approved. In the investment plan, the total area of the nature reserve was given as 41,132 ha. Phong Nha is included on the 2010 list as a 147,800 ha nature reserve, under the management of MARD. However, Phong Nha is included on a proposed list of protected areas currently being proposed by FPD and FIPI as a 147,800 ha nature reserve, under the management of the provincial people's committee. In both cases, the name of the site is given as Phong Nha-Ke Bang.In 1998, FIPI prepared a revised investment plan for Phong Nha. This investment plan proposed extending the Special-use Forest to incorporate the Ke Bang limestone area to the north-west, and upgrading the management category from nature reserve to national park. The total area of the proposed national park was given as 147,945 ha (Nguyen Ngoc Chinh et al., 1998). This investment plan has not been approved, and it is uncertain how quickly, or even if, the process to upgrade Phong Nha to national park status will proceed.

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 Institute (2001) Sourcebook of existing and proposed protected areas in Vietnam. Hanoi, Vietnam: BirdLife International Vietnam Programme and the Forest Inventory and Planning Institute.Eames, J. C., Lambert, F. R. and Nguyen Cu (1994) A survey of the Annamese Lowlands, Vietnam, and its implications for the conservation of Vietnamese and Imperial Pheasants Lophura hatinhensis and L. imperialis, Bird Conservation International 4(4): 343-382.Nguyen Ngoc Chinh, Nguyen Quoc Dung and Bui Dac Tuyen (1998) [Investment plan for Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binh province]. Hanoi: Forest Inventory and Planning Institute. In Vietnamese.Anon. (1992) [Investment plan for Phong Nha Nature Reserve]. Dong Hoi; Quang Binh Provincial People's Committee. In Vietnamese.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Phong Nha. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016

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