Tam Dao, located about 70km north of Hanoi, was recognized as a National Park in March 1996. It extends 80km in the northwest and southeast direction, bordering the provinces of Thai Nguyen, Tuyen Quang, and Vinh Phuc. Tam Dao is included on a list of Special-use Forests to be established by the year 2010, prepared by the FPD of MARD, as a 36,883 ha national park; this list has not yet been approved by the government. According to Tam Dao National Park Management Board, however, the total area of the national park is only 34,995 ha.
Biodiversity of Tam Dao National Park
Tam Dao supports 21,982 ha of natural forest and 1,351 ha of plantation forest. The natural forest is of two main types: lowland evergreen forest and lower montane evergreen forest. Lowland evergreen forest is distributed at elevations between 700 and 800 m and is heavily degraded.
Tam Dao National Park has been the focus of some of the highest levels of herpetological survey effort in Vietnam, and a large number of reptile and amphibian species have been recorded there. A number of the amphibian species recorded at Tam Dao were assessed as globally threatened during the Global Amphibian Assessment, including Theloderma corticale, T. gordoni and Vietnamese Salamander Paramesotriton deloustali.
Tam Dao National Park qualifies as an Important Bird Area because of its importance for the conservation of biome-restricted bird species. About 100 species have been recorded at Tam Dao. In particular, the site supports a number of biome-restricted species that are known from few other sites in Vietnam, such as Blue-naped Pitta Pitta nipalensis, Purple Cochoa Cochoa purpurea, Chestnut-headed Tesia Tesia castaneocoronata, Pale-footed Bush Warbler Cettia pallidipes and Greater Rufous-headed Parrotbill Paradoxornis ruficeps.
Birds highlight of Tam Dao national park
Grey Laughingthrush, Black-throated Laughingthrush, Green and Purpple Cochoas, Short-tailed Parrotbill, Pale-footed Bush Warbler, Blue-naped Pitta, Chestnut-headed Tesia.
The good time for birding in Tam Dao is from October to December and from March to May. For bird photography is from March to May.