Published online by Cambridge University Press: 11 May 2010
During June and July 1994, five sites in the Annamese Lowlands Endemic Bird Area weresurveyed for restricted-range and globally threatened birds, with the ultimate aim of identifying a suitable area for protected area establishment to safeguard populations of endemic Lophura pheasants. Vietnamese Pheasant L. hatinhensis was found at twosites situated less than 10 km apart, although only regularly encountered in one area, the Net River watershed, Quang Binh province. No conclusive evidence was found of the existence of Imperial Pheasant L. imperialis at any site, although it almost certainly also occurs in the Net River watershed or close by. Where they occur, logging and hunting pose the most serious threats to the long-term survival of these endemic pheasants. Although previously believed to be largely confined to forest in flatter areas, evidence collected during the surveys suggests that L. hatinhensis is commonest on ridgetops and slopes in areas with relatively undisturbed, closed-canopy forest. Hence, a major recommendation of this study is that conservation areas for this species should include the maximum extent possible of closed-canopy or lightly logged forest that includes hilly terrain as well as lower-lying, flat areas. The most appropriate area for designation as a protected area was identified as forest in the Net River watershed. It is recommended that a full feasibility study for the establishment of such an area be undertaken as a priority, and that meanwhile a moratorium on legal logging activities and efforts to curtail illegal logging and hunting be implemented by Vietnam's Ministry of Forestry.
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