email a friend
printable version
Location Laos, Champasak,Salavan
Central coordinates 105o 38.00' East  15o 31.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 36,650 ha
Altitude 40 - 500m
Year of IBA assessment 2003

BirdLife Indochina Programme (BirdLife Direct Action Programme)

Site description The IBA is located inside Phou Xiang Thong National Protected Area, in southern Lao P.D.R. The topography of the IBA slopes from east to west, as the landscape changes from low hills to lowlands along the eastern bank of the Mekong River. The vegetation of the IBA is characterised by a complex mosaic of semi-evergreen forest interspersed with patches of mixed deciduous forest, dry dipterocarp forest and open rocky savanna. The IBA is drained by a number of seasonal streams, which flow into the Mekong River (Evans et al. 2000). Phou Xiang Thong is considered to be one of the few protected areas in Lao P.D.R. with potential support a viable population of Green Peafowl Pavo muticus (Evans and Timmins 1997); the main concentrations of this species within the national protected area are included within the IBA. The semi-evergreen forest at the IBA supports a moderately high density of Siamese Fireback Lophura diardi, although densities of two other key species, Red-collared Woodpecker Picus rabieri and Grey-faced Tit Babbler Macronous kelleyi, are much lower (Evans et al. 2000).

Key Biodiversity Coverage was brief, yet fairly representative in view of the limited array of altitudinal zones and habitat types. A number of additional Key species can be expected to occur, given further fieldwork. Some species might be overlooked and the remoter, steeper areas of semi-evergreen rain forest above 500m were not covered. Thus, they require further survey work. (Evans et al. 1996)

Non-bird biodiversity: Evans et al. (1996) recorded the Bear species Ursus sp.Evans et al. (1996) recorded three species of primates: Slow Loris Nycticebus pygmaeus???, Pig-tailed Macaque Macaca nemestrina and gibbon species Hylobates sp. It is also believed that Douc Langur Pygathrix nemaeus still occurred in the area, but the effort of survey could not find any. A further survey is required to confirm the status of this species.A number of unconfirmed reports of Siamese Crocodile Crocodylus siamensis have originated from Phou Xiang Thong. Confirmation of these reports was actively sought by Evans et al. (1996) but the results were negative.Evans et al. (1996) recorded one species of ungulate: Southern Serow Naemorhedus sumatraensis.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Green-legged Partridge Arborophila chloropus resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Green Peafowl Pavo muticus resident  2002  frequent  A1, A3  Endangered 
Siamese Fireback Lophura diardi resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-headed Parakeet Psittacula finschii resident  2002  common  A3  Near Threatened 
Red-collared Woodpecker Picus rabieri resident  2002  rare  A3  Near Threatened 
Bay Woodpecker Blythipicus pyrrhotis resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Black-and-buff Woodpecker Meiglyptes jugularis resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Eared Pitta Pitta phayrei resident  2002  rare  A3  Least Concern 
Bar-bellied Pitta Pitta elliotii resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Burmese Shrike Lanius collurioides resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Racket-tailed Treepie Crypsirina temia resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Indochinese Bushlark Mirafra erythrocephala resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Brown Prinia Prinia polychroa resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Sooty-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus aurigaster resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Stripe-throated Bulbul Pycnonotus finlaysoni resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Streak-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus blanfordi resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-eyed Bulbul Iole propinqua resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-faced Tit-babbler Macronous kelleyi resident  2002  rare  A2  Least Concern 
Black-collared Starling Sturnus nigricollis resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Slaty-backed Forktail Enicurus schistaceus resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Hainan Blue-flycatcher Cyornis hainanus resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Red-vented Barbet Psilopogon lagrandieri resident  2002  rare  A3  Least Concern 
Lineated Barbet Psilopogon lineatus resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Green-eared Barbet Psilopogon faiostrictus resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2008 high not assessed low
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - unintentional effects (species is not the target) happening now some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Biological resource use logging & wood harvesting - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Transportation and service corridors roads and railroads happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  No management planning has taken place  Very little or no conservation action taking place  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Phou Xiengthong National Biodiversity Conservation Area 120,000 protected area contains site 36,650  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Dry deciduous forest (tropical); Moist deciduous forest (tropical); Semi-evergreen rain forest (tropical)  major
Wetlands (inland) Rivers and streams  -

Land use

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

Protection status The Phou Xiang Thong Protected Area is the only protected area in Laos include a stretch of the Mekong River. In the opposite of the Protected Area, in Thailand, along the western bank of the Mekong River, there is the Pha Taem National Park.

Further web sources of information 

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

References Evans, T. D., Stones, A. J. and Thewlis, R.C.M. (1996) A wildlife and habitat survey of the Phou Xiang Thong National Biodiversity Conservation Area. Pakse: IUCN.Evans, T. D. and Timmins, R. (1997) Green Peafowl in Laos. Tragopan 6: 9-10.Evans, T. D., Towll, H. C., Timmins, R. J., Thewlis, R. M., Stones, A. J., Robichaud, W. G. and Barzen, J. (2000) Ornithological records from the lowlands of southern Laos during December 1995-September 1996, including areas on the Thai and Cambodian borders. Forktail 16: 29-52.Thewlis, R. M., Timmins, R. J., Evans, T. D. and Duckworth, J. W. (1998) The conservation status of birds in Laos: a review of key species. Bird Conserv. Internat. 8(suppl.): 1-159.

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Phou Xiang Thong. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife