Southeastern Asia: Vietnam

This ecoregion is nearly extinct. Representing the swamp forests of the Red River in northern Vietnam, the natural habitat has long been cleared for agriculture. Today it is nearly impossible to even ascertain the natural biodiversity that used to occur in this ecoregion.

  • Scientific Code
  • Ecoregion Category
  • Size
    4,200 square miles
  • Status
  • Habitats

Location and General Description
This ecoregion comprises the freshwater swamp forests along the lower Red River in northern Vietnam.

Swamp forest occurs inland of the mangroves in freshwater conditions. Freshwater swamp forest occurs on permanently or seasonally flooded mineral soils, often in zones up to 5 km wide, along rivers or around freshwater lakes. The original vegetation in these freshwater swamp forests may have been Melaleuca-dominated (BAP 1995). This ecoregion used to provide habitat for several endangered species of mammals and birds.

Biodiversity Features
Freshwater swamps support a wide variety of plant species, many limited to this specialized habitat, and they support a great diversity of freshwater fish, birds, and mammals. There are no endemic birds or mammals in this ecoregion.

Current Status
This freshwater swamp forest ecoregion along the lower Red River in northern Vietnam has been almost totally cleared of its original habitat. There are no protected areas in this ecoregion, and little freshwater swamp forest remains.

Types and Severity of Threats
Most of these forests have been converted for agricultural use and settlements.

Justification of Ecoregion Delineation
The freshwater swamp forests and mangroves in the Red River Valley and coastal areas of MacKinnon's subunit 06a were included within the Red River Freshwater Swamp Forests [IM0147] and Indochina Mangroves [IM1402], respectively.

References for this ecoregion are currently consolidated in one document for the entire Indo-Pacific realm.
Indo-Pacific Reference List

Prepared by: Eric Wikramanayake and Ramesh Boonratana
Reviewed by: