Habitat: Semi-dry evergreen forest is the
predominant forest type. Dry dipterocarp forest, mixed deciduous forest and bamboo are patchily distributed. PXT incorporates the Lao side of the Mekong River and the adjoining hills eastward. To the east, its edge is well defined by a steeply rising escarpment to a low sandstone plateau.

Access: Route 13 south runs roughly parallel with the eastern boundary within a distance of 1-6 km. Route 13 is being rebuilt as a hard-top road. A rough track negotiable by 4WD cuts 6 km across the reserve to the Mekong River and the enclave village, Khanthungxai. Another track reaches the enclave village, Thakhamxomxua. Also accessible from Ban Mai Singsampanh.

1. GENERAL INFORMATION

Name

Phou Xiang Thong. Abbreviated: PXT

Status

Established by PM Decree 164, 29 October 1993

Location

Latitude: 15o 19' - 15o 52' N
Longitude: 105o 23.5' - 105o 47' E

Map Sheets

Scale I: 50,000

6139-1/IV

6157-IV

6140-I

6140-II

6158-III

Scale I: 100,000

D 48-7

D 48-8

D 48-19

D 48-20

D 48-32

Scale I: 200,000

D 48-IV

D 48/X

Scale I: 250,000 (US army map, 1964)

ND 48-3

Soil capability and ground cover maps: Scale 1:100,000 (Mekong Committee, 1988; (one sheet, almost complete coverage)

Aerial photographs and satellite imagery: 1981: probably available but not consulted.

Provinces

Champassak
Salavan

Districts

Sanasomboun (Champassak),
Khongxedone, (Salavan)
Nakhonpheng (Salavan)

Perimeter

as proposed in 1999: 228 km

Boundary

(as recommended in 1999, detailed description at the BCP office):
In the West defined by the border with Thailand . In the South and East up to latitude 15o 41' N, follows the foot of the escarpment generally at the 200 m contour line. From thereon north/northwest/west along the 200m contour to Donmakkua on the Mekong , poorly defined due to a lack of conspicuous terrain features.

Area

as decreed: 1,200 km²
as proposed in 1995: 995 km²
as proposed in 1999: 1,003 km2,

Proposed
Extensions or
Excisions

Extensions: none
Excisions (relative to boundary as in decree 164):
total proposed at end 1999: 197 km2 detailed as follows:
settled areas north of Donmakkua (Nakhonpheng district): 16 km2
Elsewhere the currently proposed boundary and that in decree 164 largely coincide suggesting a measuring error in the figure given in the decree.

Contiguity with adjacent wildlands:
Declared NBCA of Xe Bang 6-10 km northeast. A 5 km wide belt of disturbed forest remains between villages Nondinxay and Houaykapho.
Adjacent to the Thai National Park and World Cultural Heritage Site 'Pha Taem'.

Access

Route 13 south runs roughly parallel with the eastern boundary within a distance of 1-6 km. Route 13 is being rebuilt as a hard-top road. A rough track negotiable by 4WD cuts 6 km across the reserve to the Mekong river to the enclave village Khanthungxai. Another track reaches the enclave village Thakhamxomxua. Old logging roads provide access to approximately 80 km2 in the extreme NW. reach most of the flats. There is only local boat traffic on the Mekong river.

Stakeholder
Villages &
Population 

No. of villages by type

District

Villages

I

II

III

IV

Persons

Sanasomboun

21

10,125

Khongxedone

32

11,169

Nahkhonpheng

25 

8,159

TOTAL

29,743


Note: user villages only

Principal Local
Resource
Uses

Ethnic
Composition

Predominantly Lao Loum, 8 villages mainly of Katang ethnic group 

2. BRIEF HISTORY

1940-1950ies

Katang villages move down from the hills in the 40 and 50ies.

1958

PXT (425 km2) was declared Forest Reserve (March 28).

1965-75

The Americans and rightist Lao maintainan air-base with a 2 km paved runway on a plateau in the southern part (Kang Heuan) of the reserve.

1975-90

Insurgent activity continues until the late 1980ies.

1983

Phou Kang Heuan (117 km2) in the Champassak part of PXT is declared Forest Reserve (June 30).

1992

The last official logging is carried out

1993

PXT is formally declared a National Reserved Forest in October (1,200 km2).

1996

Management implementation started (February)
First wildlife survey (April).

1999 onwards

Security problems trigger periodic closure by the army from early 1999 onward.

3. ECOLOGY

Physical
Features

PXT incorporates the Lao side of the Mekong river and the adjoining hills eastward. In the east its edge is well defined by a steeply rising escarpment to a low sandstone plateau. The dissected plateau drains westward into the Mekong river via numerous small streams. Rocky flats and flat top conical hills are a dominant terrain feature. Vertical cliff faces similar to those found in Pha Taem on the other side of the Mekong river. Bizarre wind carved rock formations. In the north, there is a flat to undulating zone (140 km2) at elevations below 200 m.
Soils are acid and shallow and unsuited for permanent agriculture.

Elevation

Elevations from 100m on the banks of the Mekong to a maximum 716 m of Phou Nangam of the southern escarpment. Generally, the elevations range from 300-500m in the southern part and from 200-400m in the north.

Climate

Tropical monsoon climate with high rainfall (1,250 mm per annum at Khongxedone) during the monsoon and a pronounced 6- month dry season.

 Main Forest Types

Semi (dry)-evergreen forest is the predominant forest type. Dry dipterocarp forest, mixed deciduous forest and bamboo are patchily distributed. The semi-evergreen forest in the northern part was subject to commercial logging as late as 1992. Widespread cutting and hand sawing of timber for cash income.

other terrestrial habitat types and resources

The various forest types and other terrestrial habitats form a complex habitat mosaic. Extensive flats of bare rock or thinly vegetated by grass and shrubs are a prominent terrain feature.

Seasonally exposed Mekong river sand banks and small alluvial fans in good condition despite agricultural use.

Small caves and sheer cliff faces up to 30m.

At least three mineral licks .

Other
Habitat
Features

Wetlands: Some 15 short seasonal streams. 3 sizeable perennial streams. Water remains in the beds of most seasonal streams throughout the year.

An uninhabited 20 km stretch of the Mekong river.

Recorded
Vertebrates

Vertebrate Class

No. of Species

No. of Key Species

Mammals

16 (9)

14

Birds

188

11

Reptiles

not surveyed 

Amphibians

not surveyed

Fish

not surveyed

4. EVALUATION
Principal Contributions to the NBCA System

Biodiversity
Values

PXT is the only Lao NBCA on the Mekong river and extends along some 100 km of its course including both rocky and sandy river banks.

Extensive tracts of little disturbed semi-evergreen forest.

Its characteristic rocky flats at elevations of 300-500 m are elsewhere and in similar form only found in PKK.

Populations of wildlife key species are generally low. Of these, only one bird species (green peafowl) is present in a population considered of high global and very high national significance. Among the mammals, only banteng and leopard are present in populations that are of high significance at the national level.

No botanical surveys have yet been conducted.

Watershed
Values

Security
Values

Sensitive border area with current security problems

Cultural
Values

none significant known at present

Recreation
and Tourism
Values

Good potential for nature tourism along scenic stretches of the Mekong river if security problems can be overcome.

Principal
Threats

New settlements and expansion of existing settlements along the Mekong river, road access.

One small settlement was abandoned due to project intervention. A 'no new settlement' policy is implemented by the security forces. Land and forest allocation is underway for all Mekong side villages. Road access across the reserve to settlements along the Mekong would undermine the settlement policy. Preventing the upgrading of existing roads or of major foot trails to vehicle tracks is a management priority.

Destructive fishing

Fishing with explosives and poison affects even remote stretches of the streams. The intensity of traditional fishing in the Mekong is increasing. Evidence that some villages apprehend offenders.

Hunting

Traplines and hunting with dogs targeting pangolins, turtles, and monitor lizards are of concern. Several cases of banteng poaching in 1996, but none reported since.

Livestock grazing

A problem in a few locations where herders live off the land, set fire, and where livestock kills by predators occur. Few villages are affected. Complete closure to livestock grazing of some sectors should be negotiated.

Timber cutting

Timber cutting and sawing is an important source of income for many locals. In the Mekong side villages additional value is added by boat construction. Affecting only peripheral areas.

Unrestrained collecting of forest products

A problem where it involves large groups (up to 30 people) spend several days in remote areas living off the land. District issue of quotas for is part of the problem. Management of NTFPs by villages combined with use prohibition in core zone sectors is pursued to solve the problem.

Fire

Fires are frequent and widespread during the long dry season. Usually associated with other problems and uses as stated above.

Reasons for
Proposed
Extensions or
Excisions

5. CURRENT MANAGEMENT

Contact

c/o Champassak Forestry Section
P.O. Box 19 , Pakse, Champassak Province ; Tel./Fax: 213 446

Staffing

currently 8 male, 3 female staff (government 7, hired 4)
extension section (4 staff), patrolling section (6 staff)

Organization

Buildings

F ield station with office, meeting room, staff accommodation

Equipment

1 Isuzu pick up truck, 3 motorcycles
1 GPS device, 1 computer

Financial
Support &
Training

Dutch government funded under the Biodiversity Conservation Project, total budget over 5 years $ 193,500

Current
Management
Priorities

  • Maintain the uninhabited stretches of the Mekong river in their present undisturbed state and prevent new settlements or the budding off and enlargement of existing ones using land and forest allocation results as base line.
  • Improve the recognition and enforcement of existing regulations.
  • Improve quality and quantity of field reports through increased cooperation with villages and army.
  • core zone establishment in two northern sectors \
  • development assistance in focus villages. (this aspect handled largely by the German Agro-Action supported project)

Management history and significant management activities in the past

field management started 02/1996;

  • PRA in all user villages
  • wildlife and habitat survey
  • drafting of protected area rules with village input
  • key-species and impact monitoring
  • conservation education in local schools
  • small-scale village development assistance
  • recreation resources survey by local staff
  • livestock grazing survey by local staff
  • land and forest allocation in villages on the Mekong river

Other
Management
Opportunities

  • of core zone establishment with village and army support
  • testing the effect sustained community development on resource protection

Other Relevant
Project
Intiatives

Community Development for Conservation Project (funded by German Agro-Action (GAA), implemented with assistance by Population Development International (PDI)) working in user villages of PXT

6. REPORTS AND PUBLICATIONS 

Anon. (1992). Village Interviews from Reconnaissance Survey. DAFO, Pakse.

Anon. (1995). Guidelines for First Year Extension Work Based on Training Topics. BCP report. [Lao]

Anon. (1996). Summary of Village Data obtained by RRA for the Phou Xiang Thong NBCA, BCP report.

Anon. (1997a). BCP Reports on Results of Rules Consultations.

Anon. (1997b). Project policy and Criteria with Respect to Material Incentives. DAFO, Pakse. [Lao, English]

Anon. (1997c). Ten Guides on the Topics of Poster Use, Protected Area Facts, Status of Selected Key Species, BCP materials (for teachers). [Lao, English]

Anon. (1997d). Rules Booklet. DAFO, Pakse. [Lao]

Boonrattana, R. (1998). Wildlife Survey Training at Dong Hua Sao and Phou Xiang Thong National Biodiversity Conservation Areas. Report to BCP, Pakse.

Boonrattana, R. (1999). Training in Wildtlife Survey and Data Analysis for the National Biodiversity Conservation Areas Dong Hua Sao and Phou Xiang Thong. Report to BCP, Pakse.

Evans, T. D., Stones, A. J. and Thewlis, R. C. M. (1996). A Wildlife and Habitat Survey of the Phou Xiang Thong Protected Area . Biodiversity Conservation Project, Pakse

PADECT. (1997). Extension Training Report. BCP, Pakse. [Lao]