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Location Laos, Khammouan
Central coordinates 105o 24.00' East  17o 56.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 278,000 ha
Altitude 500 - 2,286m
Year of IBA assessment 2003

BirdLife Indochina Programme (Country programme)



Site description The IBA is located inside Nakai-Nam Theun National Protected Area, in central Lao P.D.R. The topography of the IBA is very rugged, and dominated by the main ridge of the Annamite mountains, which runs along the east of the IBA, forming the international border with Vietnam. The highest point on this ridge is Phou Laoko, at 2,286 m asl. The vegetation of the IBA is dominated by dry evergreen forest up to 1,800 m asl, with upper montane forest above this elevation. In addition, Fokienia forest is distributed between 1,400 and 1,700 m asl, (Thewlis et al. 1998). Furthermore, wet evergreen forest occurs in the east of the IBA, close to the international border with Vietnam (Timmins and Evans 1996). To the east, the IBA is contiguous with Vu Quang IBA (VN022) in Vietnam. The IBA supports a rich montane avifauna, including the globally threatened Beautiful Nuthatch Sitta formosa, although the total area of upper montane habitat is lower than that at a number of other sites in the Annamite mountains and Northern Highlands. The extensive, relatively undisturbed forest within the IBA is important for the conservation of a number of species of hornbill. Most notably, the IBA supports what is probably the largest population of Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis in Indochina (R. J. Timmins in litt. 2002). The IBA receives high levels of precipitation, with some areas being wet all year round, as a result of which the fauna of the IBA shows a number of affinities with that of wet evergreen forests on the eastern flank of the Annamite mountains. For example, the IBA is thought to support populations of at least two of the restricted-range species found in the Annamese Lowlands Endemic Bird Area: Crested Argus Rheinardia ocellata and Short-tailed Scimitar Babbler Jabouilleia danjoui, although, given the much larger populations of these species in parts of Vietnam, the populations at the IBA are of low global significance. Furthermore, the IBA is one of the few sites in Lao P.D.R. known to support Saola Pseudoryx nghetinhensis (Duckworth et al. 1999). Moreover, it has the most species-rich documented large mammal community in Lao P.D.R., and, while this partly reflects survey coverage, the site is unquestionably of exceptional international importance for mammals, especially those with large area requirements (Duckworth 1998).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Red-vented Barbet Psilopogon lagrandieri resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Lineated Barbet Psilopogon lineatus resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Green-eared Barbet Psilopogon faiostrictus resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Moustached Barbet Psilopogon incognitus resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Grey Peacock-pheasant Polyplectron bicalcaratum resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-throated Partridge Arborophila rufogularis resident  2002  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Bar-backed Partridge Arborophila brunneopectus resident  2002  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Silver Pheasant Lophura nycthemera resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Siamese Fireback Lophura diardi resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Crested Argus Rheinardia ocellata resident  2002  frequent  A1, A2  Near Threatened 
Yellow-vented Green-pigeon Treron seimundi resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-headed Parakeet Psittacula finschii resident  2002  unknown  A3  Near Threatened 
Asian Emerald Cuckoo Chrysococcyx maculatus resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Coral-billed Ground-cuckoo Carpococcyx renauldi resident  2002  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Hodgson's Frogmouth Batrachostomus hodgsoni resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Blyth's Kingfisher Alcedo hercules resident  2002  unknown  A3  Near Threatened 
Austen's Brown Hornbill Anorrhinus austeni resident  2002  common  A3  Near Threatened 
Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis resident  2002  common  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
Megalaima franklinii resident  2002  common  A3  Not Recognised 
Stripe-breasted Woodpecker Dendrocopos atratus resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Red-collared Woodpecker Picus rabieri resident  2002  unknown  A3  Near Threatened 
Pale-headed Woodpecker Gecinulus grantia resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Bay Woodpecker Blythipicus pyrrhotis resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Rusty-naped Pitta Pitta oatesi resident  2002  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Blue Pitta Pitta cyanea resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Black-winged Cuckooshrike Coracina melaschistos resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Short-billed Minivet Pericrocotus brevirostris resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Burmese Shrike Lanius collurioides resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Maroon Oriole Oriolus traillii resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Crow-billed Drongo Dicrurus annectans resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
White-winged Magpie Urocissa whiteheadi resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-breasted Magpie Cissa hypoleuca resident  2002  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Grey Treepie Dendrocitta formosae resident  2002  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Ratchet-tailed Treepie Temnurus temnurus resident  2002  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-cheeked Tit Parus spilonotus resident  2002  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Sultan Tit Melanochlora sultanea resident  2002  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Black-throated Tit Aegithalos concinnus resident  2002  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Sooty-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus aurigaster resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Stripe-throated Bulbul Pycnonotus finlaysoni resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-eyed Bulbul Iole propinqua resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Mountain Bulbul Hypsipetes mcclellandii resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Asian Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Slaty-bellied Tesia Tesia olivea resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-vented Warbler Phylloscopus cantator passage  2002  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Grey-cheeked Warbler Seicercus poliogenys resident  2002  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-faced Warbler Abroscopus albogularis resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Himalayan Cutia Cutia nipalensis resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Short-tailed Scimitar-babbler Jabouilleia danjoui resident  2002  uncommon  A2  Near Threatened 
Grey-headed Parrotbill Paradoxornis gularis resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Red-billed Scimitar-babbler Pomatorhinus ochraceiceps resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Streaked Wren-babbler Napothera brevicaudata resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush Garrulax monileger resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush Garrulax pectoralis resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-cheeked Laughingthrush Garrulax castanotis resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Black-throated Laughingthrush Garrulax chinensis resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Red-tailed Laughingthrush Garrulax milnei resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Spectacled Barwing Actinodura ramsayi resident  2002  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-winged Minla Minla cyanouroptera resident  2002  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-tailed Minla Minla strigula resident  2002  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Indochinese Fulvetta Alcippe danisi resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-cheeked Fulvetta Alcippe morrisonia resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Indochinese Yuhina Yuhina torqueola resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Black-chinned Yuhina Yuhina nigrimenta resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Pale-billed Parrotbill Paradoxornis atrosuperciliaris resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Beautiful Nuthatch Sitta formosa resident  2002  frequent  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
Dark-sided Thrush Zoothera marginata resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Black-breasted Thrush Turdus dissimilis passage  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Green Cochoa Cochoa viridis resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Slaty-backed Forktail Enicurus schistaceus resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
White-gorgeted Flycatcher Ficedula monileger resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Sapphire Flycatcher Ficedula sapphira resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Hainan Blue-flycatcher Cyornis hainanus resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Small Niltava Niltava macgrigoriae resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-bellied Niltava Niltava sundara resident  2002  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Orange-bellied Leafbird Chloropsis hardwickii resident  2002  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Fork-tailed Sunbird Aethopyga christinae resident  2002  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Black-throated Sunbird Aethopyga saturata resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Streaked Spiderhunter Arachnothera magna resident  2002  common  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Corridor Nakai - Nam Theun and Phou Hin Poun National Biodiversity Conservation Area 154,340 protected area is adjacent to site 0  
Nakai - Nam Theun National Biodiversity Conservation Area 353,200 protected area contains site 278,000  
Nam Theun Ext. National Biodiversity Conservation Area 64,500 protected area is adjacent to site 0  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Dry evergreen forest (tropical)  -
Artificial - terrestrial   -

Land use

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

Other biodiversity Timmins and Evans (1996) recorded Back-striped Weasel Mustela strigidorsa in the IBA. Timmins and Evans (1996) also recorded Asiatic Black Bear Ursus thibetanus, Clouded Leopard Pardofelis nebulosa, Leopard Panthera pardus and Tiger P. tigris in the Central Mountains of Nakai-Nam Theun, but is not clear whether any of these records are from within the IBA. Tobias (1997) recorded Hodgson's Porcupine Hystrix brachyura at the IBA in 1997.Gibbons, presumed to be White-cheeked Crested Gibbon Hylobates leucogenys, were heard on three occasions in montane evergreen forest between 1,500 and 1,600 m asl in 1997 (Tobias 1997). Timmins and Evans (1996) also heard gibbons calling in the IBA. They also recorded Slow Loris Nycticebus coucang, Pygmy Loris N. pygmaeus, Rhesus Macaque Macaca mulatta, Bear Macaque M. arctoides, Douc Langur Pygathrix nemaeus, and, provisionally, Assamese Macaque M. assamensis in the Central Mountains of Nakai-Nam Theun but it is not clear if any of these species occur within the IBA.The IBA supports cypress forest dominated by Fokienia hodginsii.Timmins and Evans (1996) recorded Asian Elephant Elephas maximus, Gaur Bos gaurus and Southern Serow Naemorhedus sumatraensis in the Central Mountains of Nakai-Nam Theun but it is not clear if any of these species occur within the IBA.

Further web sources of information 

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

References Document nameEvans, T. D. and Timmins, R. J. (1998) Records of birds from Laos during January-July 1994. Forktail 13: 69-96.Tobias, J. (1997) Environmental and social action plan for the Nakai-Nam Theun catchment and corridor areas: report of the wildlife survey. Vientiane: WCS report to IUCN.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., Tizard, R. J., Timmins, R. J., Thewlis, R. M., Robichaud, W. G. and Evans, T. D. (1998) Bird records from Laos, October 1994-August 1995. Forktail 13: 33-68 (including errata sheet distributed with Forktail 14)..Duckworth, J. W., Salter, R. E. and Khounboline, K. eds. (1999) Wildlife in Lao P.D.R.: 1999 status report. Vientiane: IUCN, WCS and CPAWM.Timmins, R. J. and Evans, T. D. (1996) A wildlife and habitat survey of Nakai-Nam Theun National Biodiversity Conservation Area, Khammouan and Bolikhamsai provinces, Lao P.D.R. Vientiane: CPAWM/WCS.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Nakai-Nam Theun. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 01/10/2014

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