|Location||Thailand, Bangkok,Chachoengsao,Chonburi,Phetchaburi,Samut Prakan,Samut Sakhon,Samut Songkhram|
|Central coordinates||100o 40.00' East 13o 30.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i, A4iii|
|Altitude||0 - 2m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2004|
Ornithological information To date, there have been no comprehensive surveys of the avifauna of the entire IBA. Rather, most available data are from individual sites within the IBA, including Bang Poo, Wat Asokaram, Kalong, Rangchan, Khok Kham, Don Hoi Lot, Klong Khon, Bangtabun, Ban Laem and Laem Phak Bia. The Inner Gulf of Thailand is one of the most important sites for migratory waterbirds in mainland South-east Asia. Between 150,000 and 300,000 birds are estimated to use the site annually, the majority feeding on the highly productive intertidal mudflats. Over 100 waterbird species have been recorded at the site, including seven species of duck, 50 species of wader and 18 species of tern or gull. Species recorded at the site include 13 globally threatened species, of which at least four are thought to regularly occur in significant numbers: Nordmann's Greenshank Tringa guttifer, Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmeus, Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila heliaca and Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis. In addition, three globally near-threatened species regularly occur at the site in significant numbers: Asian Dowitcher Limnodromus semipalmatus, Malaysian Plover Charadrius peronii and Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala. Furthermore, at least 10 waterbird species occur at the site in concentrations higher than 1% of the Asian biogeographic population, underlining the site's international significance.
Site description The IBA comprises a 195 km-long section of the coastal zone of the Inner Gulf of Thailand, from Laem Phak Bia in the west to Chonburi in the east. Four major rivers, the Mae Klong, Tha Chin, Chao Phraya and Bang Pakong, discharge into the Gulf of Thailand along this stretch of coastline, creating extensive areas of intertidal habitats. The site includes an estimated 23,500 ha of intertidal mudflats, extending over 2 km from the shoreline at low tide in places. Previously, the Inner Gulf of Thailand supported a large area of mangroves. However, this habitat has now been extensively converted to other land uses, and, currently, less than 1,600 ha of mangroves remain, much of which consists of regenerating Avicennia-dominated scrub. Areas that previously supported mangroves now support anthropogenic habitats, including at least 10,600 ha of saltpans and from 40,000 to 80,000 ha of shrimp ponds, many of which are abandoned. Inland of the intertidal zone, the site supports large areas of Suaeda-dominated coastal flats, fish-ponds and rice paddies. Due to high levels of human use and high human population densities, it is unrealistic for more than a small part of the site to be placed under strict conservation management. However, the whole site was defined as a single IBA, because conservation actions aimed at controlling over-exploitation of natural resources and promoting compatible forms of land use are required across the whole site. In 2001, an 87,500 ha section of the IBA around Don Hoi Lot in Samut Songkhram province was designated as a Ramsar Site.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala||unknown||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A4i||Near Threatened|
|Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus||winter||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii||winter||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Asian Dowitcher Limnodromus semipalmatus||winter||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A4i||Near Threatened|
|Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa||winter||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A4i||Near Threatened|
|Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus||winter||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Common Redshank Tringa totanus||winter||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Spotted Greenshank Tringa guttifer||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Endangered|
|Long-toed Stint Calidris subminuta||winter||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Spoon-billed Sandpiper Eurynorhynchus pygmeus||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Critically Endangered|
|Brown-headed Gull Larus brunnicephalus||winter||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida||winter||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||unknown||2004||20,000 individuals||unknown||A4iii|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Don Hoi Lot||Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)||87,500||protected area contained by site||87,500|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial landscapes (terrestrial)||-|
Other biodiversity Fish Freshwater Sawfish Pristis microdon (CR)
Management considerations The main threats to biodiversity at the site are hunting, disturbance to birds, pollution, over-harvesting of fish and shellfish, and habitat loss, of which the last is perhaps the most significant. One of the main causes of habitat loss is afforestation of intertidal mudflats with mangrove, with the objective of coastal protection against storms. Afforestation reduces the available area of intertidal mudflats for feeding waders. Other causes of habitat loss include reclamation, land speculation, urban expansion and industrialisation.
Related state of the world's birds case studies
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. Erftemeijer, P. L. A. and Jugmonkol, R. (1999) Migratory shorebirds and their habitats in the Inner Gulf of Thailand. Bangkok and Hat Yai: Wetlands International and Bird Conservation Society of Thailand. Wetlands International-Thailand Programme, Publication No.13. Office of Environmental Policy and Planning (1999) Directory of internationally important wetlands in Thailand. Bangkok: Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment. (In Thai.) Round, P .D. (2001) Waterfowl and their habitats in the Gulf of Thailand. Bird Conservation Society of Thailand Bulletin 18(4): 8-16.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Inner Gulf of Thailand. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/05/2013
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