Habitat: Predominantly dry evergreen and
semi-evergreen. Mosaic of swidden land and forest at various stages of regeneration. Large tracts of contiguous old-growth forest survive towards the Vietnamese border and along the Nam Ou, upstream from the Nam Khang confluence.

Access: Access is difficult, but can be accomplished by boat along the Nam Ou and Nam Khang or by foot. From Phongsali, the NPA can be reached by a short drive to Ban Hatxa and a then a half-day boat journey or 2-day walk.

1. GENERAL INFORMATION

Name

Phou Daen Din (also spelt Phou Dendin, Phou Dene Dinh). Abbreviated: PDD

Status

Established by PM Decree 164, 29 October 1993.

Location

Latitude: 21o 40' - 22o 18' N
Longitude: 102o 00' - 102o40' E

Map Sheets

Scale I: 100,000

F 48-61

F 48-73

F 48-74

Scale I: 200,000

F 48-XIII

F 48-XIX

Scale I: 500,000

F 48-A

F 48-B

Provinces

Phongsaly

Districts

Mai ( %)
Khoua ( %)
Sam Phanh ( %)
Boun Dtai ( %)
Boun Neua ( %)

Perimeter

km

Boundaries

The NBCA is based around the Nam Ou and its catchment from the confluence with the Nam Va in the S, upstream to the confluence with the Nam Khang, then W along the Nam Ou to around Phou Tokachong, and for a similar distance N along the Nam Khang. The boundaries do not follow any clear topographical feature and will be largely determined by the distribution of remaining habitat. To the W the boundary runs close to the Nam Ou for most of its length. To the E it extend to the Vietnamese border in the S, although for much of its length it runs parallel to and up to 10km within the border. Robichaud (1995) reported that the PAFO had mapped two sets of borders; a core area corresponding to the NBCA proper, and a buffer zone extending some way beyond it (at least in the S), in which tree cutting was permitted, but hunting was prohibited.

Area

As decreed: 2220 sq. km
As proposed in Berkmüller et al. (1995): 1310 sq. km
Best estimate: 710 sq. km

Proposed
Extensions

Berkmüller (1995) substantially refined the boundaries, making small excisions in several northern areas, extending a narrow corridor to the Vietnamese border in the N, and adding a sizeable area (c. 30% of existing area) to the SE, extending the boundary S along the Vietnamese border to the Nam Houn and its confluence with the Nam Paho.

Access

Access is by boat along the Nam Ou and Nam Khang or by foot. From Phongsaly, the NBCA can be reached by a short drive to Ban Hatxa and a ½-day boat journey, or by a 2-day walk. The Nam Ou upstream of the confluence with the Nam Khang can be travelled by boat, but it is dotted with rapids and the trip requires much time, effort and expense.

 

Stakeholder
Villages &
Population

 

 

No. of villages by type

 

District

Villages

I

II

III

IV

Persons

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

..

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

..

.

.

.

.

.

TOTAL

.

.

.

.

.

.


Note: Only small villages within the NBCA.

Principal Local
Resource
Uses

Shifting cultivation with a long (10-15yr) rotation period. Poppy and wet rice are grown on river and stream terraces. NTFPs are collected mainly for domestic consumption, but occasionally for sale.

Ethnic
Composition

Mostly hill tribes: Lue, Haw, Yao , Si-dah, Alou, Hmong and others

 2. BRIEF HISTORY

1992

Reconnaissance survey. Interviews with Phongsaly officials and in a small number of villages.

1993

NBCA declared.

1995

Brief wildlife survey by Cedar Grove Ornithological Research Station.

1995

Brief wildlife survey by WCS.

1998

EU Phongsaly Forest Conservation and Rural Development Project commenced.

1999

EU PFCRDP reconnaissance visit to NBCA.

1999

WCS herptile survey (October).

 3. ECOLOGY

Physical
Features

The great majority of the area is comprised of hills around the Nam Ou valley. The highest hills are along the Vietnamese border to the E, and most drainage is to the W into the Nam Ou. The area is hilly throughout, with 60% above 1000m.

Elevation

450m - 1948m.

Climate

 Main Forest
Types

Predominantly dry evergreen and semi-evergreen. Areas around main rivers relatively degraded, with a mosaic of swidden and forest at various stages of regeneration, but habitat still in markedly better condition than areas outside the NBCA. Large tracts of contiguous old-growth forest apparently survive towards the Vietnamese border to the E and along the Nam Ou, upstream of the Nam Khang confluence.

Other Habitat
Features

In 1992, heavily used saltlicks were reported by the Nam Ou, upstream of the Nam Khang.

Recorded
Vertebrates

Vertebrate Class

No. of Species

No. of Key Species

Mammals

16*

8

Birds

216

11 (1)

Reptiles

10

2

Amphibians

20

0

Fish

Note: only figures in bold text considered result of adequate survey. Key species follow Duckworth et al (1999). Numbers in ( ) are additional provisional records.

Survey Efforts

Low

 4. EVALUATION
Principal Contributions to the NBCA System

Biodiversit
Values

  • A mid-ranking NBCA in terms of biological importance. Only NBCA in biogeographic subunit 10c, but surveys of birds and herptiles to date suggest it is not particularly distinct from other northern Lao sites (R. Tizard & B. Stuart, verbally; Ling 1999).
  • Three bird species not recorded from any other NBCA, but none of these is a key species.
  • Elephants, gibbons and a high density of Lesser Fish-eagles.
  • High densities of deer, otter and water monitor tracks around the Nam Ou, upstream of the Nam Khang, suggest this area is little affected by hunting, almost certainly due to the difficulty of access. The extent of disturbance in the other remaining block of old forest, near the Vietnamese border, is unknown.
  • Reports of several species of large mammals - more extensive surveys may well yield appreciable numbers of additional species.

Watershed
Values

  • Settlements within the NBCA tend to be located where smaller tributaries join the main rivers, and probably depend directly on local catchments.
  • The importance of the contribution of the NBCA to the overall catchment of the Nam Ou is unclear.

Cultural
Values

  • Three dis-used temple complexes and a number of stone carvings lie within the area. Their cultural value is not known.

Security
Values

 

Recreation
& Tourism
Values

  • Main rivers and ethnic groups are potential attractions.
  • Despite the relatively remote location, Kjøller (1999) reports that several tourists already visit the area each year.

Principal
Threats

  • Shifting cultivation has had a major impact on the lower stretches of the Nam Ou, and given patterns of habitat clearance in northern Laos , even the highest areas must be at risk of eventual use.
  • The impact of other traditional uses has not been assessed to date, and neither has a current plan to introduce Cardamom cultivation to the area. Hunting will undoubtedly have depressed populations of larger vertebrates, however, and the growing local population is cause for concern.
  • Foreign intruders are active in the area, but information regarding their precise impact is currently confused. Kjøller (1999) was told that Vietnamese poachers, loggers, gold miners and Mai Dam collectors were present, but was given conflicting information about the severity of their impact. B. Stuart was told later that year, in the same villages, that the major problem came largely from Chinese, not Vietnamese poachers, and that villagers actively pursued and arrested the Chinese.
  • The thin, elongate shape of the NBCA places it at inherent risk from edge effects and habitat fragmentation.

Reasons for
proposed
Extensions or
Excisions

Berkmüller's (1995) amendments were made on the basis of satellite imagery to maximise the coverage of natural habitat and excise heavily degraded areas.

5. CURRENT MANAGEMENT

Contact

 Staffing

 Organization

 Buildings

 Equipment

 Financial
Support &
Training

The EU Phongsaly Forest Conservation and Rural Development Project was begun in 1998, and has committed to supporting conservation activities within the NBCA. No management or action plan has yet been produced for the NBCA, however.

Current
Management
Priorities

 Other
Management
Opportunities

  • Following a short reconnaissance trip, Kjøller (1999) suggested strengthening PAFO/DAFO capacity, establishing a management board from PAFO, DAFOs, the Army and PFCRDP (local communities not mentioned for inclusion in this), meeting with local communities, further surveys, border demarcation and zoning, levying a tourist entrance fee, and patrols against cross-border intrusions.
  • In 1992 the Province reported plans to relocate some villages to lower elevations. Presumably this never took place.
  • Phou Dendin borders the Muong Nhe Nature Reserve in Vietnam .

Other relevant
Project
Initiatives

6. REPORTS AND PUBLICATIONS

 Berkmüller, K. et al. (1993). Protected area system planning and management in Lao PDR: status report to mid-1993. LSFCP/IUCN, DoF.

Berkmüller, K. et al. (1995). Protected area system planning and management in Lao PDR: status report to mid-1995. LSFCP/IUCN, DoF.

Duckworth, J. W. et al. (1999). Wildlife in Lao PDR: 1999 Status Report. IUCN/WCS/CPAWM.

Flint , C. (1999). Data/Information on Conservation Management and Protected Areas in the Lao PDR. CMS & TNA Project, DoF.

Kjøller, P. (1999). Visit to Phou Dehn (sic.) Din, May 1999. Fieldtrip report for EU PFCRDP.

Ling, S. D. (1999). A Biological System of Prioritisation for Protected Areas in the Lao PDR. Report to WCS.

Robichaud, W. G. (1995) A Preliminary Wildlife and Habitat Survey of Phou Dendin NBCA, Phongsali. Cedar Grove Ornithological Research Station / CPAWM.

Robichaud, W. G. (in prep) Wildlife and Habitat Survey of Phou Dendin NBCA. WCS/CPAWM.