The Red River Delta in northern Vietnam is an important stopover and wintering site for migratory waterbirds. During the spring of 1994, six globally threatened and five near-threatened species were observed in the coastal areas of the Delta. According to current applications of threat categories, one of the species has Critical status (Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor), three are Endangered (Nordmann's Greenshank Tringa guttifer, Saunders's Gull Larus saundersi and Chinese Egret Egretta eulophotes), two are Vulnerable (Spoonbill Sandpiper Eurynorhynchus pygmaeus and Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis) and five are Near-threatened (Asian Dowitcher Limnodromus semipalmatus, Grey-headed Lapwing Vanellus cinereus, Black-headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus, Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala and Japanese Paradise-Flycatcher Terpsiphone atrocaudata). A nature reserve, also listed as a Ramsar area, already exists in the middle of the Delta. The Cua Day Estuary in the southern part of the delta is not included in either the nature reserve or Ramsar area. However, observations of 260 Saunders's Gulls and 41 Black-faced Spoonbills, which represent 9% and 12% of the estimated respective world populations, indicates the international importance of this area. The major threats to the waterbirds using the delta are reclamation of intertidal sand- and mudflats for aquaculture, increased disturbance associated with collection of sea products and hunting. Recommendations are made for future conservation actions.