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Location Laos, Attapu,Champasak
Central coordinates 106o 22.00' East  14o 32.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3, A4i
Area 37,150 ha
Altitude 100 - 200m
Year of IBA assessment 2003

BirdLife Indochina Programme (Country programme)



Site description The IBA is located mainly inside Xe Pian National Protected Area, in southern Lao P.D.R. The topography of the IBA is dominated by an extensive alluvial plain, which is crossed by two lowland rivers: the Xe Pian and Xe Khampho. A third large, lowland river, the Xe Kong, forms the south-eastern boundary of the IBA, and the upstream section of this river, outside of Xe Pian National Protected Area, is also included within the IBA. The vegetation of the IBA is dominated by dry dipterocarp forest but mixed deciduous forest and semi-evergreen forest are found along the rivers. There are numerous pools throughout the IBA, some of which are seasonal (Duckworth et al. 1998, Thewlis et al. 1998). To the south, the IBA is contiguous with Western Siem Pang IBA (KH032) in Cambodia, which supports a similar mosaic of habitats. To the west and east, the IBA is contiguous with blocks of denser, semi-evergreen forest. The IBA supports small numbers of several large waterbird species, including Sarus Crane Grus antigone, White-shouldered Ibis Pseudibis davisoni, Giant Ibis Thaumatibis gigantea, Woolly-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus and Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus. The populations of large waterbirds within the IBA adjoin larger populations in Cambodia, and, therefore, their viability may be greater than their small size might suggest. The open, dry dipterocarp forest is an important habitat for a number of raptor species, including White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis, Slender-billed Vulture G. tenuirostris and Red-headed Vulture Sarcogyps calvus. While the IBA is almost certainly not large enough by itself to support viable populations of these three vulture species in the long-term, it forms part of a network of sites throughout southern Lao P.D.R. and northern Cambodia that may be able to. The large, lowland rivers running through the IBA are important for a number of globally threatened and near-threatened bird species, most notably Masked Finfoot Heliopais personata, Lesser Fish Eagle Ichthyophaga humilis and Grey-headed Fish Eagle I. ichthyaetus. Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster has also been recorded, and, while the IBA has not, as yet, been confirmed to regularly support a significant population, this might simply reflect limited survey work in the wet season. In addition, the rivers support a suite of sandbar-nesting birds, including Great Thick-knee Esacus recurvirostris (Duckworth et al. 1999), River Lapwing Vanellus duvaucelii, Small Pratincole Glareola lactea and River Tern Sterna aurantia (Duckworth et al. 1998). Another riverine species found at the IBA is the recently described Mekong Wagtail Motacilla samveasnae (Duckworth et al. 2001)

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Red-vented Barbet Psilopogon lagrandieri resident  2002  rare  A3  Least Concern 
Lineated Barbet Psilopogon lineatus resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Green-eared Barbet Psilopogon faiostrictus resident  2002  rare  A3  Least Concern 
Green-legged Partridge Arborophila chloropus resident  2002  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Green Peafowl Pavo muticus resident  2002  rare  A1, A3  Endangered 
Siamese Fireback Lophura diardi resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus resident  2002  rare  A1  Vulnerable 
White-shouldered Ibis Pseudibis davisoni resident  2002  rare  A1  Critically Endangered 
Giant Ibis Thaumatibis gigantea resident  2002  rare  A1, A4i  Critically Endangered 
White-rumped Pygmy-falcon Polihierax insignis resident  2002  uncommon  A3  Near Threatened 
White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis resident  2002  rare  A1, A3  Critically Endangered 
Slender-billed Vulture Gyps tenuirostris resident  2002  uncommon  A1, A3  Critically Endangered 
Red-headed Vulture Sarcogyps calvus resident  2002  rare  A3  Critically Endangered 
Rufous-winged Buzzard Butastur liventer resident  2002  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Masked Finfoot Heliopais personatus resident  2002  rare  A1, A3  Endangered 
Sarus Crane Antigone antigone resident  2002  rare  A1  Vulnerable 
Yellow-footed Green-pigeon Treron phoenicopterus resident  2002  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Blossom-headed Parakeet Psittacula roseata resident  2002  uncommon  A3  Near Threatened 
Black-headed Woodpecker Picus erythropygius resident  2002  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Black-and-buff Woodpecker Meiglyptes jugularis resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-rumped Pitta Pitta soror resident  2002  rare  A3  Least Concern 
Bar-bellied Pitta Pitta elliotii resident  2002  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-winged Pitta Pitta moluccensis resident  2002  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Common Woodshrike Tephrodornis pondicerianus resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Indochinese Cuckooshrike Coracina polioptera resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Black-winged Cuckooshrike Coracina melaschistos resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Brown-rumped Minivet Pericrocotus cantonensis resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Small Minivet Pericrocotus cinnamomeus resident  2002  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Burmese Shrike Lanius collurioides resident  2002  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Crow-billed Drongo Dicrurus annectans resident  2002  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
White-browed Fantail Rhipidura aureola resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-breasted Magpie Cissa hypoleuca resident  2002  rare  A3  Least Concern 
Racket-tailed Treepie Crypsirina temia resident  2002  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Nepal House-martin Delichon nipalense resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Indochinese Bushlark Mirafra erythrocephala resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Brown Prinia Prinia polychroa resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Sooty-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus aurigaster resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Stripe-throated Bulbul Pycnonotus finlaysoni resident  2002  frequent  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 
Asian Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus passage  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-faced Tit-babbler Macronous kelleyi resident  2002  frequent  A2  Least Concern 
Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush Garrulax monileger resident  2002  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Golden-crested Myna Ampeliceps coronatus resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-tailed Starling Sturnus malabaricus resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
White-shouldered Starling Sturnus sinensis resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Black-collared Starling Sturnus nigricollis resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Vinous-breasted Starling Sturnus burmannicus resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Hainan Blue-flycatcher Cyornis hainanus resident  2002  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Plain-backed Sparrow Passer flaveolus resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Mekong Wagtail Motacilla samveasnae resident  2002  frequent  A2  Near Threatened 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Xe Pian National Biodiversity Conservation Area 240,000 protected area contains site 37,150  

Habitats

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

Land use

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

Other biodiversity Duckworth et al. (1993) observed a party of four Dhole Cuon alpinus near the Xe Khampho. Duckworth et al. (1993) also found sign of bear Ursus sp. in riverine forest in the IBA. WWF (1997) found sign of bear Ursus sp., Tiger Panthera tigris, Leopard P. pardus and Golden Jackal Canis aureus.Duckworth et al. (1993) recorded two species of primate: Long-tailed Macaque Macaca fascicularis and a langur species (possibly Silvered Langur).Cox et al. (1992) encountered tracks of Banteng Bos javanicus frequently on the Xe Kong plains, and saw a small herd east of the Xe Pian river. In addition, Cox et al. (1992) received local reports that Gaur occurred on the Xe Kong plains but that they were rare.

Protection status The author suggested that the Xe Paine Protected Area is as important as the Nakai Nam Theun Protected Area. These two Protected Areas are the most important Protected Areas in Laos.

Further web sources of information 

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

References Document nameThewlis, R. M., Duckworth, J. W., Anderson, G. Q. A., Dvorak, M., Evans, T. D., Nemeth, E., Timmins, R. J. and Wilkinson, R. J. (1996) Ornithological records from Laos, 1992-1993. Forktail 11: 47-100.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.Duckworth, J. W., Evans, T. D. and Timmins, R. J. (1993) A wildlife and habitat survey of the Xe Pian National Biodiversity Conservation Area (draft report). Vientiane: LSFCPDuckworth, J. W., Alström, P., Davidson, P., Evans, T. D, Poole, C. M., Setha, T. and Timmins, R. J. (2001) A new species of wagtail from the lower Mekong basin. Bull. Brit. Orn. Club 121(3): 152-182.Poulsen, M. K. (unpubl.) Full list of bird species known from Xe Pian NBCA. Unpublished list of birds compiled from Thewlis et al. (1996), Duckworth et al. (1998) and M. K. Poulsen pers. obs.Cox, R., Sawathvong, S. and Louanglath, K. (1991) Report of a survey for Kouprey and other wild cattle in the southern Lao P.D.R. provinces of Champassak and Attapeu. Unpublished report to the Kouprey Conservation Trust.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Xe Kong Plains. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/09/2014

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