email a friend
printable version
Location Vietnam, Quang Ninh
Central coordinates 108o 1.00' East  21o 28.00' North
IBA criteria A1
Area 3,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 2m
Year of IBA assessment 2002

BirdLife Indochina Programme (BirdLife Direct Action Programme)

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).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Saunders's Gull Saundersilarus saundersi winter  2002  present  A1  Vulnerable 

IBA Monitoring

2013 high very unfavourable low

Agriculture and aquaculture marine and freshwater aquaculture - subsistence/artisinal aquaculture happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - abstraction of ground water (agricultural use) happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Transportation and service corridors shipping lanes happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high

Marine Intertidal   0 0 moderate (70-90%) poor (40-69%) very unfavourable

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  No management planning has taken place  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  low 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Artificial wetlands; Estuarine waters; Sand dunes and beaches  -
Artificial - terrestrial   -
Forest   -
Marine Intertidal   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
unknown -

Further web sources of information 

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

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Tra Co. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife