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Location Laos, Attapu
Central coordinates 107o 17.00' East  15o 5.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 34,780 ha
Altitude 200 - 500m
Year of IBA assessment 2003

BirdLife Indochina Programme (BirdLife Direct Action Programme)

Site description The IBA is situated in southern Lao P.D.R., and comprises the upper Xe Khaman, its major tributaries and adjacent areas of natural habitat on both sides of the river. The section of the Xe Khaman within the IBA forms the north-western boundary of Dong Ampham National Protected Area, and parts of the IBA to the south-east of the river are included within this national protected area. In addition, part of IBA to the north-west of the river lies within Phou Khathong proposed nature reserve. The topography of the IBA is predominantly flat or gently sloping. Large tracts of relatively undisturbed old-growth semi-evergreen forest remain north of the Xe Khaman and in the valley of the Nam Kamah. However, small patches of secondary regrowth following shifting cultivation can be found in the Nam Kamah floodplain (Davidson et al. 1997). The relatively intact riverine habitats within the IBA are important for Lesser Fish Eagle Ichthyophaga humilis and, most significantly, Masked Finfoot Heliopais personata. The IBA also supports populations of Siamese Fireback Lophura diardi, Red-collared Woodpecker Picus rabieri, Great Hornbill Buceros bicornis, Brown Hornbill Anorrhinus tickelli and Grey-faced Tit Babbler Macronous kelleyi. For some of these species, maintenance of contiguous areas of natural habitat, including within Dong Ampham IBA (LA012), may be essential to their long-term conservation in this IBA. In addition, White-winged Duck Cairina scutulata is reported to occur at the IBA, although, given the availability of suitable habitat, it is unlikely that the IBA supports a significant population. Furthermore, the IBA is believed to support a significant population of a gibbon species Hylobates sp., and Siamese Crocodile Crocodylus siamensis is reported to occur along the Xe Khaman (Davidson et al. 1997).

Key Biodiversity Apart from the proposed dam construction, it seems there are not any recent major threats to bird species in the IBA. The human population density in the area is low. However, their settlements in the area that expand unchecked can create many problems to biodiversity at the site (Davidson et al. 1997).

Non-bird biodiversity: Davidson et al. (1997) recorded four species of important fauna: Sunda Pangolin M. javanica, Oriental Small-clawed Otter A. cinerea, Leopard Cat P. bengalensis and Tiger P. tigris. Three species of important fauna were also reported and believed to occur in the area: Sun Bear U. malayanus, Golden Cat C. temminckii, Leopard P. pardus.Davidson et al. (1997) observed four species of primate: Slow Loris Nycticebus coucang, Rhesus/Long-tailed Macaque Macaca mulatta/fascicularis, Silvered Langur Semnopithecus cristatus, Yellow-cheeked Crested Gibbon Hylobates gabriellae. And one species of primate was reported occur: Douc Langur Pygathrix nemaeus.Davidson et al. (1997) reported that Siamese Crocodile Crocodylus siamensis was sighted twice in 1996.Davidson et al. (1997) reported that Gaur Bos gaurus still persist in the area and small number of Asian Elephant Elephas maximus were observed.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Green-legged Partridge Arborophila chloropus breeding  2001  common  A3  Least Concern 
Bar-backed Partridge Arborophila brunneopectus breeding  2001  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Siamese Fireback Lophura diardi resident  2001  common  A3  Least Concern 
Polyplectron bicalcaratum breeding  2001  frequent  A3  Not Recognised 
Masked Finfoot Heliopais personatus breeding  2001  rare  A1, A3  Endangered 
Yellow-vented Green-pigeon Treron seimundi breeding  2001  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Austen's Brown Hornbill Anorrhinus austeni resident  2001  rare  A3  Near Threatened 
Red-collared Woodpecker Picus rabieri resident  2001  frequent  A3  Near Threatened 
Black-and-buff Woodpecker Meiglyptes jugularis breeding  2001  common  A3  Least Concern 
Eared Pitta Pitta phayrei breeding  2001  rare  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-rumped Pitta Pitta soror breeding  2001  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Blue Pitta Pitta cyanea breeding  2001  rare  A3  Least Concern 
Bar-bellied Pitta Pitta elliotii breeding  2001  common  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-winged Pitta Pitta moluccensis breeding  2001  common  A3  Least Concern 
Ashy Woodswallow Artamus fuscus breeding  2001  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Black-winged Cuckooshrike Coracina melaschistos breeding  2001  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Brown-rumped Minivet Pericrocotus cantonensis winter  2001  rare  A3  Least Concern 
Crow-billed Drongo Dicrurus annectans breeding  2001  rare  A3  Least Concern 
Racket-tailed Treepie Crypsirina temia breeding  2001  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Stripe-throated Bulbul Pycnonotus finlaysoni breeding  2001  common  A3  Least Concern 
Streak-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus blanfordi breeding  2001  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-eyed Bulbul Iole propinqua breeding  2001  common  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-faced Tit-babbler Macronous kelleyi breeding  2001  common  A2  Least Concern 
Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush Garrulax monileger breeding  2001  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Golden-crested Myna Ampeliceps coronatus breeding  2001  rare  A3  Least Concern 
Slaty-backed Forktail Enicurus schistaceus breeding  2001  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Hainan Blue-flycatcher Cyornis hainanus breeding  2001  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Orange-bellied Leafbird Chloropsis hardwickii breeding  2001  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Red-vented Barbet Psilopogon lagrandieri breeding  2001  rare  A3  Least Concern 
Lineated Barbet Psilopogon lineatus breeding  2001  rare  A3  Least Concern 
Green-eared Barbet Psilopogon faiostrictus breeding  2001  common  A3  Least Concern 
Moustached Barbet Psilopogon incognitus breeding  2001  frequent  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2008 medium not assessed negligible
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - large dams likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration medium

Some of site covered (10-49%)  No management planning has taken place  Very little or no conservation action taking place  negligible 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Dong Ampham National Biodiversity Conservation Area 200,000 protected area overlaps with site 15,000  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   major
Wetlands (inland)   -
Shrubland   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research major
agriculture minor

Protection status The Phou Kathong proposed Protected Area joined the western side of Dong Ampham Protected Area. The IBA covers both the Phou Kathong Proposed Protected Area and Dong Ampham Protected Area. In the IBA area Xe Kaman is acted as a border line between the Proposed Protected Area and the Protected Area.

Further web sources of information 

Site account from Important Bird Areas in Lao P.D.R. (Ounekham and Inthapatha 2003)

References Davidson, P., Robichaud, W. G., Tizard, R. J., Vongkhamheng, C. and Wolstencroft, J. (1997) A wildlife and habitat survey of Dong Ampham NBCA and Phou Khathong proposed NBCA, Attapeu province, Lao P.D.R. Vientiane: CPAWM/WCS.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Upper Xe Kaman. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016

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