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Doi Chiang Dao
Thailand, Chiang Mai
98o 48.00' East 19o 25.00' North
480 - 2,175m
Year of IBA assessment
Bird Conservation Society of Thailand
Site description The IBA comprises a limestone mountain outpost of the eastern Upper Tenasserim range, rising precipitously above the broad, flat, alluvial valley of the Mae Ping river. The topography of the site is steep, with a number of cliffs, rising to three peaks (one being the third highest mountain in Thailand), which form a horseshoe-shaped valley. On higher ridges and peaks, where extreme erosion has occurred, barren limestone is a common feature. Surface water is limited and only found below 910 m asl; drainage courses flow from west to east, to the Mae Ping and the Mae Teang rivers. The site contains some of the most intact lowland and hill forest in the northern region. Dry evergreen forest is found between 350 and 600 m asl, as a narrow belt along the foothills and on the gentle slopes. This merges into mixed deciduous forest and a narrow belt of bamboo between 500 and 900 m asl. Teak Tectona grandis is found in association with a number of other species from 700 to 850 m asl. Hill evergreen forest and lower montane evergreen forest occupy steep, narrow valleys between 1,100 and 1,900 m asl, where humidity is highest. Open hill evergreen forest occupies exposed limestone ridges, summits and slopes, with herbaceous species and ferns in rock crevices, as well as many epiphytic orchids and temperate zone genera. There are extensive areas of secondary grassland. The massif is the southernmost extension of the sub-alpine vegetation associated with the eastern Himalayas and south-western China.
Key Biodiversity The site supports significant populations of two resident globally threatened species, Mrs Hume's Pheasant Syrmaticus humiae and Giant Nuthatch Sitta magna. In addition, the globally vulnerable Dark-rumped Swift Apus acuticauda has been recorded at the site but not regularly in significant numbers. Moreover, the globally near-threatened Great Hornbill Buceros bicornis has also been recently recorded at the site. Finally, a form of Stachyris babbler was collected at the site in the 1930s, which some authorities consider to be a full species, Deignan's Babbler S. rodolphei, endemic to Doi Chiang Dao. Other authorities, however, consider it to be indistinguishable from Rufous-fronted Babbler S. rufifrons.
The site qualifies under criterion A3 because it supports 14 species restricted to the Sino-Himalayan Temperate Forests (Biome 07), 54 species restricted to the Sino-Himalayan Subtropical Forests (Biome 08) and seven species restricted to the Indochinese Tropical Moist Forests (Biome 09). See Appendix 3 for details.
References BirdLife International (1998) Proceedings of the Thailand IBA workshop, Bangkok, November 1998. Unpublished report.
BirdLife International (2001) Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International.
Conservation Data Center, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok.
Robson, C. R. (2000) A field guide to the birds of South-East Asia. London: New Holland.
Round, P. D. (1988) Resident forest birds in Thailand: their status and conservation. Cambridge, UK: International Council for Bird Preservation.
Smitinand, T. (1966) The vegetation of Doi Chiang Dao, a limestone massif in Chiangmai, North Thailand. Natural History Bulletin of the Siam Society 21: 98-128.
Wildlife Conservation Division (2000) Basic data for wildlife sanctuaries in Thailand. Bangkok: Office of Natural Resources Conservation, Forestry Department.
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BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Doi Chiang Dao. Downloaded from
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