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Location Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City
Central coordinates 106o 54.00' East  10o 31.00' North
IBA criteria A1
Area 75,740 ha
Altitude 0 - 4m
Year of IBA assessment 2002

BirdLife Indochina Programme (Country programme)

Site description This IBA comprises Can Gio Man and the Biosphere Reserve in the coastal zone of Ho Chi Minh City. The area is situated in a recently formed estuary complex of tidal flats, where the Vam Co, Saigon and Dong Nai rivers discharge into the sea. The topography of Can Gio is low-lying and dynamic. The site is divided by a network of canals and rivers. The major habitat types found at Can Gio are plantation mangorve and naturally regenerating mangrove. The mudflats and sandbanks at the site are an important habitat for migratory shorebirds. There are several threats to biodiversity arising from the local population, the most significant of which are cutting mangrove trees for timber and fuelwood, and conversion of mangrove forest into aquacultural ponds.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis non-breeding  2002  present  A1  Near Threatened 
Spotted Greenshank Tringa guttifer passage  2002  present  A1  Endangered 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Can Gio UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve 75,740 is identical to site 75,740  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Mangrove  40%
Wetlands (inland) Artificial wetlands; Estuarine waters; Intertidal mud, sand or salt flats  45%
Artificial - terrestrial Perennial crops, orchards and groves; Rice paddies  15%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 15%
nature conservation and research 100%

Other biodiversity Can Gio is reported to support a population of Long-tailed Macaque Macaca fascicularis (Anon., 1998).

Protection status In 1991, Can Gio was designated as a coastal protection forest. In 2000, Can Gio was designated as Vietnam's first Man and the Biosphere Reserve, and a management board was established.

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.ADB (1999) Draft coastal and marine protected areas plan. Hanoi: Asian Development Bank.Anon. (1998) Draft biosphere reserve nomination form: Can Gio Mangrove Biosphere Reserve. Draft submission to UNESCO.Eames and Tordoff (in prep) Recent records and a conservation status review of some near threatened and near threatened bird species in Vietnam.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Can Gio. Downloaded from on 22/09/2014

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