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Location Vietnam, Nghe An
Central coordinates 104o 42.00' East  18o 57.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 91,113 ha
Altitude 100 - 1,841m
Year of IBA assessment 2002

BirdLife Indochina Programme (BirdLife Direct Action Programme)

Site description This IBA comprises Pu Mat Nature Reserve, which is situated in the northern Annamite mountains. The highest points in the nature reserve are found in the south, along the mountain ridge that forms the international border between Vietnam and Laos. A series of steep-sided valleys run perpendicular to this ridge, forming a series of smaller north-south ridges. The steep terrain in most parts of the nature reserve has been an obstacle to extensive clearance of forest. Pu Mat is among the best studied sites in Vietnam in terms of biodiversity. The nature reserve supports one of the largest remaining blocks of natural forest in northern Vietnam, and is linked to other protected areas in Vietnam and Laos by contiguous areas of forest. The most widespread vegetation type in the nature reserve is lowland evergreen forest. At higher elevations, lower montane evergreen forest is distributed. Pu Mat is probably one of the most important sites for mammal conservation in Vietnam. A number of threatened mammal species have recently been recorded at the nature reserve, including Saola Pseudoryx nghetinhensis, White-cheeked Crested Gibbon Nomascus leucogenys, Tiger Panthera tigris and Asian Elephant Elephas maximus.

Key Biodiversity Pu Mat is thought to support globally important populations of Crested Argus Rheinardia ocellata and Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipanlensis.

Non-bird biodiversity: The following threatened primate species have been recorded at Pu Mat Nature Reserve (Grieser Johns ed., 2000): Pygmy Loris Nycticebus pygmaeus, Assamese Macaque Macaca assamensis, Rhesus Macaque Macaca mulatta, Long-tailed Macaque Macaca fascicularis, Stump-tailed Macaque Macaca arctoides, Phayre's Leaf Monkey Trachypithecus phayrei and White/Buff-cheeked Crested Gibbon Nomascus leucogenys/gabrielle. However, Long-tailed Macaque is considered to be an invasive species to Pu Mat and is displacing the populations of Stump-tailed Macaques and Assamese Macaques.The following threatened turtle species have been confirmed to occur at Pu Mat: Big-headed Turtle Platysternon megacephalum, Pelodiscus sinensis, Wattle-necked Softshell Turtle Palea steindachneri, Indochinese box Turtle Cuora galbinifrons, Geomyda spengleri Black-breasted Leaf Turtle, Four-eyed Turtle Sacalia quadriocellata, Chinese Stripe-necked Turtle Ocadia sinensis, Keeled Box Turtle Pyxidea mouhotii, Impressed Tortoise Manouria impressa, Elongated Tortoise Indotestudo elongata. In addition, Asiatic Softshell Turtle Amyda cartilaginea, Asian Leaf Turtle Cuora dentata and Chinese Three-striped Turtle Cuora trifasciata have been recorded at interview (Grieser Johns ed., 2000).Two threatened gymnosperm species have been recorded at Pu Mat: Fokienia hodginsii and Cunninghamia konishii (Grieser Johns ed., 2000).It has recently been estimated that Pu Mat Nature Reserve supports 6-10 individual Asian Elephants Elephas maximus, a population that makes Pu Mat one of the most important sites for elephant conservation in Vietnam (Grieser Johns ed., 2000). Grieser Johns ed. (2000) recorded the following threatened ungulate species at Pu Mat: Dark/Pygmy Annamite Muntjac Muntiacus truongsonensis, Giant Muntjac Megamuntiacus vuquangensis, Gaur Bos gaurus, Southern Serow Naemorhedus sumatraensis and Saola Pseudoryx nghetinhensis. The nature reserve has been identified as a key site for large mammal conservation because of its large size (Grieser Johns ed., 2000).

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 
Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis resident  2002  present  A1  Vulnerable 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Pu Mat Nature Reserve 93,400 is identical to site 8,500  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Hill evergreen forest (subtropical); Semi-evergreen rain forest (tropical)  90%
Shrubland Secondary scrub  10%

Land use

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

Protection status In 1986, the establishment of two separate Special-use forests in what is now Nghe An province was decreed. These two decreed protected areas were later combined to provide the legal basis for establishing Pu Mat Nature Reserve. In 1993, FIPI prepared an investment plan for Pu Mat Nature Reserve, which gave the total area of the nature reserve as 93,400 ha. This investment plan was approved in 1995, although the area of the nature reserve was revised slightly to 91,113 ha. Pu Mat is included on the 2010 list as a 93,400 ha nature reserve.

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.Grieser Johns, A. ed. (2000) Pu Mat: a biodiversity survey of a Vietnamese protected area. Vinh: Social Forestry and Nature Conservation in Nghe An Province.Round, P. D. (1999) Avifaunal surveys of the Pu Mat Nature Reserve, Nghe An province, Vietnam 1998-1999. Vinh: Social Forestry and Nature Conservation in Nghe An Province.Walston, J. L. and Vinton, M. D., eds. (1998) A wildlife and habitat survey of Hin Namno National Biodiversity Conservation Area and adjacent areas, Khammouane Province Lao PDR. WWF/WCS, Vientiane, Lao PDR.Anon. (1993) [Investment plan for Pu Mat Nature Reserve, Nghe An province]. Hanoi: Forest Inventory and Planning Institute. In Vietnamese.Kemp, N., Le Mong Chan and Dilger, M. (1995) Site Description and Conservation Evaluation: Pu Mat Nature Reserve, Con Cuong District, Nghe An Province, Vietnam. Society for Environmental Exploration and Xuan Mai Forestry College in collaboration with the Ministry of Forestry, Hanoi.Eames and Tordoff (in prep) Recent records and a conservation status review of some threatened and near threatened bird species in Vietnam.

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

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