Site description Tra Co island is situated in Hai Ninh district, close to the international border with China. The island comprises a long, sandy beach, which is backed by a Casuarina equistefolia plantation. Tra Co is linked to the mainland by a causeway, and is the site of a number of guesthouses and other tourism related infrastructure. At the time of writing, a single survey of the island has been carried out which confirmed two key areas for bird conservation, Muoi Got Giay and Mui Ngoc, which are located on the northwestern and southern tips of the island respectively (Le Manh Hung et al. 2002). A third area, Bai Tuc Lam, which has yet to be studied, has also been identified as a potentially important site for bird conservation.
Key Biodiversity A total of fifty two species have been recorded from Tra Co island (Le Manh Hung et al 2002). This includes a record of one individual of Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo (nationally threatened: Anon, 1992), which was observed roosting near the southern edge of the Bai Tuc Lam mangrove area in December 2001 (Le Manh Hung et al 2002). A high tide roost was also found at the north western tip of the island at Mui Got Giay, where around 600 Kentish Plovers Charadrius alexandrinus, 120 Heuglin's Gull Larus heuglini and 100 Dunlin Calidris alpinia were observed in December 2001. Tra Co is the first wintering site for Saunders Gull Larus saundersi to have been identified outside of the coastal zone of the Red River Delta in Vietnam (Le Manh Hung et al 2002).
References Anon. (1992) [red data book of Vietnam, volume 1: animals.] hanoi: Science and Technics Publishing House. (In Vietnamese.).Le Manh Hung, Nguyen Duc Tu, Tordoff, A.W. and Vu Hong Phuong. (2002) A rapid bird survey of the coastal zone of Quang Ninh province, Vietnam. Birdlife International Vietnam Programme and the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources, and Quang Ninh Provincial Department of Science, Technology and the Environment.
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