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Location Vietnam, Quang Binh
Central coordinates 106o 1.00' East  17o 35.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 106,813 ha
Altitude 500 - 1,174m
Year of IBA assessment 2002

BirdLife Indochina Programme (BirdLife Direct Action Programme)

Site description This IBA concerns the Ke Bang limestone area, bordered by Laos to the south-west and Phong Nha Nature Reserve to the east. Ke Bang is situated in one of the largest areas of contiguous limestone karst in Indochina, which also includes Hin Namno National Biodiversity Conservation Area in Laos, and Phong Nha Nature Reserve in Bo Trach district, Vietnam. The topography of Ke Bang is composed of narrow valleys and precipitous karst ridges. The dominant habitat type at Ke Bang is limestone forest. The nature of the terrain has largelt restricted human encroachment into limestone areas. Ke Bang is significant for its populations of two endemic primates, Hatinh Langur Trachypithecus francoisi hatinhensis and Wulsin's Black Langur T. f. ebenus.

Key Biodiversity On the basis of the occurrence of three restricted-range bird species, Ke Bang lies within the Annamese Lowlands Endemic Bird Area (EBA). Crested Argus Rheinardia ocellata was recorded by Timmins et al. (1999) by its vocalisations. A single bird was heard on 18 October 1998 to the south of Suoi Cat valley. Two different birds were heard from the Ta Ty area (from B. Cha Lo) on 25 October 1998. Two birds were heard from forest in the Suoi Ken area west of the road south of B. Cha Lo, on 27 October and a single bird was heard in the same area on 28 October.VRTC (1999) recorded one Crested Argus by its vocalisations on a slope of the Yen Hop River valley near Yen Hop village on 19 March 1999.

Non-bird biodiversity: Timmins et al.(1999) recorded the following globally threatened primate species at Ke Bang: 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.Southern Serow Naemorhedus sumatraensis has been recorded at Ke Bang in two recent studies: Timmins et al. (1999, provisional record) and VRTC (1999).

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 protected area contains site 106,813  
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park World Heritage Site 85,754 protected area overlaps with site 51,298  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Semi-evergreen rain forest (tropical)  100%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
not utilised 100%

Protection status In 1998, FIPI prepared a revised investment plan for Phong Nha Nature Reserve. This investment plan proposed extending the Special-use Forest to incorporate the Ke Bang limestone area, 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.

Further web sources of information 

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

References Timmins, R. J., Do Tuoc, Trinh Viet Cuong and Hendrichsen, D. K. (1999) A preliminary assessment of the conservation importance and conservation priorities of the Phong Nha-Ke Bang proposed national park, Quang Binh province, Vietnam. Hanoi: Fauna and Flora International Indochina Programme.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.Vietnam-Russia Tropical Centre (VRTC) (1999) Results of the complex zoological-botanical expedition to the Ke Bang area. Unpublished report to the Vietnam-Russia Tropical Centre, Hanoi

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

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