Endemic bird areas, EBAs for short, are defined as areas to which at least two restricted-range bird species are entirely confined. BirdLife International has identified five EBAs in Vietnam: the Annamese Lowlands, the Dalat Plateau, the South Vietnamese Lowlands, the Kontum Plateau and the South-East Chinese Mountains.
The Annamese Lowlands EBA
The Annamese Lowlands EBA in north-central Vietnam has some fragmented areas of lowland evergreen forest with smaller areas of limestone forest but much of the original forest cover has gone. The Annamese Lowlands EBA supports nine restricted-range species of which three have only been found here: Annam Partridge Arborophila merlini, Edwards’s Pheasant Lophura edwardsi and Sooty Babbler Stachyris herbeti. Imperial Pheasant Lophura imperialis and Vietnamese Pheasant Lophura hatinhensis are also found only in the Annamese Lowlands but these are no longer considered true species.
The Dalat Plateau EBA
The Dalat Plateau EBA in the southern Central Highlands has a natural vegetation of montane evergreen forest and coniferous forest and is home to six bird species entirely confined to the EBA: Collared Laughingthrush Garrulax yersini, Orange-breasted Laughingthrush Garrulax annamensis,Vietnamese Cutia Cutia legalleni, Grey-crowned Crocias Crocias langbianis, Black-crowned Fulvetta Alcippe klossi and Vietnamese Greenfinch Carduelis monguilloti.
The Dalat Plateau also supports several distinctive and endemic subspecies including Rufous-backed Sibia Heterophasia annectens eximia, Black-headed Sibia Heterophasia desgodinsi robinsoni, Blue-winged Minla Minla cyanouroptera orientalis, Black-throated Sunbird Aethopyga saturata johnsi and Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra meridionalis.
The South Vietnamese Lowlands EBA
The South Vietnamese Lowlands EBA, located in south-central Vietnam and a small part of south-eastern Cambodia, has a natural vegetation of lowland evergreen and semi-evergreen forest. The Orange-necked Partridge Arborophila davidi and Germain’s Peacock Pheasant Polyplectron germaini are restricted to this EBA.
The Kontum Plateau EBA
The Kontum Plateau EBA is in the northern part of the Vietnamese Central Highlands and spills over the border into central Laos. The natural forest type is montane evergreen and it supports nine restricted range species, three of which were only discovered in the mid-1990s. The three recently discovered species, Black-crowned Barwing Actinodura sodangorum, Golden-winged Laughingthrush Garrulax ngoclinhensis and Chestnut-eared Laughingthrush Garrulax konkakinhensis, have so far only been found within the Kontum Plateau EBA.
The South-East China Mountains EBA
The South-East Chinese Mountains EBA is home to five restricted range species, one of which, the White-eared Night-heron Gorsachius magnificus, has been recorded in northern Vietnam in recent years.