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Location Laos, Xekong
Central coordinates 107o 9.00' East  15o 48.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 148,900 ha
Altitude 400 - 2,193m
Year of IBA assessment 2003

BirdLife Indochina Programme (Country programme)



Site description The IBA comprises the proposed Phou Ahyon (Ajol) extension to Xe Sap National Protected Area, in southern Lao P.D.R. The IBA is centred on the Phou Ahyon massif, which, at 2,193 m asl, is the largest and highest massif in southern Lao P.D.R. The vegetation of the IBA is dominated by dry evergreen forest, with Fokienia forest above 1,500 m asl, and upper montane forest above 1,800 m asl (Thewlis et al. 1998). At lower elevations, in valleys and on lower slopes, the forest on Phou Ahyon has been extensively cleared for agriculture, although most cleared areas lie outside of the IBA. The IBA supports a rich montane avifauna, including populations of several restricted-range bird species found in the Kon Tum Plateau Endemic Bird Area (EBA), such as Crested Argus Rheinardia ocellata, Black-hooded Laughingthrush Garrulax milleti and Yellow-billed Nuthatch Sitta solangiae. To date, there has only been one, brief, ornithological survey within the IBA (Timmins and Vongkhamheng 1996), as a result of which the importance of the IBA for bird conservation has yet to be fully assessed. However, the results of this survey indicate that the IBA is of high importance for bird conservation, and it is likely that it supports populations of the three bird species endemic to the Kon Tum Plateau EBA: Golden-winged Laughingthrush G. ngoclinhensis, Chestnut-eared Laughingthrush G. konkakinhensis and Black-crowned Barwing Actinodura sodangorum (R. J. Timmins in litt. 2002).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Red-vented Barbet Psilopogon lagrandieri resident  2002  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Grey Peacock-pheasant Polyplectron bicalcaratum resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Bar-backed Partridge Arborophila brunneopectus resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Silver Pheasant Lophura nycthemera resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Crested Argus Rheinardia ocellata resident  2002  unknown  A1, A2  Near Threatened 
Megalaima franklinii resident  2002  common  A3  Not Recognised 
Stripe-breasted Woodpecker Dendrocopos atratus resident  2002  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Bay Woodpecker Blythipicus pyrrhotis resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Short-billed Minivet Pericrocotus brevirostris resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Maroon Oriole Oriolus traillii resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-cheeked Tit Parus spilonotus resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-browed Tit Sylviparus modestus resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Black-throated Tit Aegithalos concinnus resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Mountain Bulbul Hypsipetes mcclellandii resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-bellied Tesia Tesia cyaniventer resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Ashy-throated Warbler Phylloscopus maculipennis resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-cheeked Warbler Seicercus poliogenys resident  2002  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-headed Parrotbill Paradoxornis gularis resident  2002  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Red-billed Scimitar-babbler Pomatorhinus ochraceiceps resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Streaked Wren-babbler Napothera brevicaudata resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-capped Babbler Stachyris ruficeps resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Black-hooded Laughingthrush Garrulax milleti resident  2002  common  A2  Near Threatened 
White-cheeked Laughingthrush Garrulax vassali resident  2002  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Red-tailed Laughingthrush Garrulax milnei resident  2002  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Vietnamese Cutia Cutia legalleni resident  2002  common  A3  Near Threatened 
Blue-winged Minla Minla cyanouroptera resident  2002  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Indochinese Fulvetta Alcippe danisi resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Alcippe peracensis resident  2002  unknown  A3  Not Recognised 
Black-headed Sibia Heterophasia desgodinsi resident  2002  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-billed Nuthatch Sitta solangiae resident  2002  common  A2  Near Threatened 
Green Cochoa Cochoa viridis resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Slaty-backed Forktail Enicurus schistaceus resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher Ficedula strophiata resident  2002  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
White-gorgeted Flycatcher Ficedula monileger resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Small Niltava Niltava macgrigoriae resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Dry evergreen forest (tropical)  major
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land  minor
Shrubland   -
Grassland   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
not utilised -

Other biodiversity Scratch marks from Malayan Sun Bear were seen at several places within Phou Ajol forest (Timmins and Vongkhamheng 1996).Timmins and Vongkhamheng (1996) recorded Bear Macaque Macaca arctoides, Douc Langur Pygathrix nemaeus and a gibbon species Hylobates sp.The IBA supports the community of Fokienia hodginsii forest. This type of forest apparently dominates on high slopes and ridges.

Further web sources of information 

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

References 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.Timmins, R. J. and Vongkhamheng, C. (1996) A preliminary wildlife and habitat survey of Xe Sap National Biodiversity Conservation Area and mountains to the south, Salavan province, Lao P.D.R. Vientiane: CPAWM/WCS.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Phou Ahyon. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/08/2014

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