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CAT TIEN NATIONAL PARK

green-slate

VIETNAM
LOCALE

Area (ha):74,000
Altitude (m):110-300
# Species:360
# Excl Vagrants:360
# Endemics:1
# Near Endemics:3
Species/100 ha:0.5
Habitat: Primary & secondary evergreen forest, freshwater wetlands, lakes, grasslands

ABOUT THE BIRDING

Cat Tien National Park is a prime birding locale in Vietnam. It protects the largest lowland tropical forest in the country, being a mix of primary and secondary semi-evergreen forest dominated by Dipterocarpus trees. Also present are large tracts of Bamboo and seasonally flooded grassland, low-lying mountain slopes, swamps, and freshwater lakes. Birding mainly involves walking trails, which are for the most part fairly easy. The park is the best place to find the endemic and critically endangered Orange-necked Partridge, a very difficult bird to see in the thick bamboo it inhabits even when using playback. Trails through the forest near the park headquarters are good for target birds such as Germain's Peacock-Pheasant, Blue-rumped Pitta, Bar-bellied Pitta, and other forest birds. The Dac Lua road offers easier birding and can be productive in early mornings. The road is probably the best place to see Siamese Fireback. Jeeps are required to reach sites farther afield such as Bird and Crocodile Lakes. The latter is reached via a 5 km walk through the forest, where a variety of specialties can be seen. Notables include Siamese Fireback, Germain's Peacock-Pheasant, Great Hornbill, Blue-rumped Pitta, Bar-bellied Pitta, Black-and-red Broadbill, and Banded Broadbill. Crocodile Lake is good for a variety of water birds and specialties such as Woolly-necked Stork, Lesser Adjutant, and Gray-headed Eagle. It's also a known location for Green Peafowl, which can only be seen at dawn.

LOCATION OF SITE

Cat Tien National Park is located in southern Vietnam about 3½-5 hours (150 km) from Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) and 3½ hours from Dalat city off National Highway 20.