Sites - Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)
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Phou Xiang Thong
105o 38.00' East 15o 31.00' North
A1, A2, A3
40 - 500m
Year of IBA assessment
BirdLife Indochina Programme (Country 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.
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.
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.
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BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Phou Xiang Thong. Downloaded from
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