Habitat: Semi-evergreen, mixed deciduous,
bamboo and dipterocarp forest covering
predominately limestone karst ranges with steep slopes, cliffs, bluffs and caves to 1,500 m. Flat bottomed enclosed valleys ranging from a few hundred hectares to 40 sq km. Many of the rivers flow through underground caves. The largest is 7.5 km between Konglor and Natan village on the Nam Hinboun and is navigable by boat.

Access: The gateway to the Phou Hin Poun NPA is Thakhaek town and Ban Na Hin on
Route 8.

1. GENERAL INFORMATION

Name

Phoun Hin Poun. Abbreviated: PHP
Also widely known as "Khammouane Limestone"

Status

Established by PM Decree 164, 29 October 1993

Location

Latitude:
Longitude:

Map Sheets

Scale I : 100,000

Scale I : 200,000

Scale I : 500,000

Provinces

Khammouane

Districts

Hinboun
Thakek
Mahaxsai
Gnommalat
Nakai

Perimeter

km

Boundaries

The decree 164 boundaries follow the Nam Hinboun in the north and north west . The boundaries then largely follow the edge of the main limestone massif, the Nam Don river in the SW, then highway 12 to just before Gnommalat. They then follow the depression between the Nakai Plateau and the limestone to the Nam Hinboun. The current management boundaries are different from decree 164 boundaries, and include areas to the north of the Nam Hinboun. They require further refinement to take into account additional areas with high conservation values, and to delete areas with low values.

Area

As decreed:

Proposed
Extensions

Access

Nam Theun - Hinboun hydro transmission line road from Highway 8; Nam Hai - Konglo road (under construction); Nam Hinboun river, Hinboun - Ban Boneng Road (all weather); Ban Nakkhu road (dry season only) Nam Pakan , Nam Don rivers (wet season only); Upper Nam Don catchment (various dry season roads); Highway 12; Highway 12 - Ban Vieng 4WD track (dry season only); "Highway 8 - Ban Nathon road (off Nakai Plateau - dry season only).

Stakeholder
Villages &
Population

No. of villages by type

District

Villages

I

II

III

IV

Persons

Hinboun

64

15

32

9

8

19.037

Thakek

11

 4

3

4

2.146

Mahaxai

8

5

2

1

1.856

Gnommalat

12

6

3

3

3.021

Nakai

14

 7

4

3

3.543

TOTAL

109

15

54

21

19

29.603

Note: Only small villages within the NBCA.

Principal Local
Resource
Uses

Ethnic
Composition

Composition Lao Loum (Kaleung, Tai Bo, Tai Sam and Meuy sub groups); Mangong (Kwa, Tro sub groups) - mainly in the east of the NBCA.

2. BRIEF HISTORY

1993

NBCA declared

1995

FOMACOP NBCA Sub-Programme launched

1999

Official change of name from "Khammouane Limestone" into "Phou Hin Poun"

2000

FOMACOP Management Sub-Programme is set to end (September)

3. ECOLOGY

Physical
Features

Predominately limestone karst ranges with steep slopes, cliffs and bluffs and caves in many areas, rising to 1500 metres near Phou Mon. Flat bottomed valleys or kouan ranging in size from a few hundred hectares to 40 square kilometres. Major rivers include the Nam Hinboun in the north and west, and the Nam Pathen, Nam Pakan and Nam Don in the west and south. Many of these rivers flow through underground caves , the largest of which is between Konglo and Natan on the Nam Hinboun and is navigable by boats.

Elevation

m - m
WSC: Class 1 - 44%, Class 2 - 35%, Class 3 12%, Class 4 - 7%, Class 5 2%. Note: These are based on the CPAWM boundaries, and not the 164 or current management boundaries so Classes 1 & 2 may be overstated and Classes 4 - 5 may be understated.

Climate

Main Forest
Types

Semi-evergreen forest, Vine and bamboo forest, Mixed deciduous forest, Deciduous dipterocarp forest. The vegetation of the large kouans is heavily modified and dominated by secondary species.

Forest Cover
This calculation was realized by the Forest Cover Monitoring Project (FCMP) MRZ/GTZ. It is based on interpretation of 1996/97 Landsat TM with the NBCA boundaries as shown on topographical maps 1:100.000 provided by the FOMACOP project. Verification with the original documents has not taken place. Therefore the Data might be only approximate.

Forest Code

Area / ha

% of Total Area

Evergreen/Mixed, Continuous Cover, High Cover Density (11, 17)

3.019

1,6

Evergreen / Mixed, Continuous Cover, Medium Cover Density (12, 18)

19.354

10,7

Evergreen / Mixed, Mosaic (13, 19)

886

0,4

Deciduous Continuous Cover (20)

3.123

1,6

Deciduous Mosaic (22)

116

0,6

Evergreen Wood and Shrubland (61, 63, 65)

55.983

31,1

Dry Wood and Shrubland (64)

440

0,2

Rocks

93.250

51,7

Mosaic of Cropping (81, 82)

350

0,1

Agricultural Land (91)

3.628

2,0

Grand Total

180.149

100,0

Other
Habitat
Features

Extensive areas of semi-vegetated and bare limestone; extensive caves; limited wetland areas, including several nongs; habitat linkages to Nakai plateau and Nam Kading NBCA.

Recorded
Vertebrates

Vertebrate Class

No. of Species

No. of Key Species

Mammals

113

12 - 15

Birds

160

6

Reptiles

81

?

Amphibians

47

?

Fish

145

?

Note: only figures in bold text considered
result of adequate survey.

Survey Efforts

4. EVALUATION
Principal Contributions to the NBCA System

Biodiversity
Values

  • Biogeographically distinct from other NBCAs. One of two protected areas in Central Indochina Limestone, and protects a representative sample of the drier western limit of this feature.
  • Globally important for Francois' Langur sub-species laotum (an all black form is also present), and contains nationally important populations of Assamese Macaques and gibbons.
  • Provides part of the range for one of the largest and most viable populations of Asian Elephant, and for gaur.
  • Part of an important area of tiger habitat.
  • Good populations of both species of bear.
  • Contains a nationally significant Serow population.
  • Contains at least 43 species of bat (largest bat diversity of any NBCA).
  • Type locality for Sooty Babbler.
  • Limestone Leaf Warbler (possible new species) present.
  • Contains at lest 14 species of turtle.
  • Nationally significant for the conservation of reptiles. 

Watershed
Values

Provides catchment protection for parts of the Nam Hinboun, Nam Pakan, and Nam Don rivers, and the Thakek water supply. Upper catchments of these rivers have distinctive milky coloured limestone water.

Cultural
Values

  • Numerous temples and shrines in limestone caves.
  • A number of sacred forests and areas.
  • Ban Na: Remains of an extensive town called Alan. Covers 20+ hectares, inlcuding remains of a number of buildings built of brick.
  • Ban Nakhu - remains of stupa built of brick about 3-400 years ago.
  • Archaeological sites with pottery.
  • Indochina War sites and trails.

Security
Values

Recreation &
Tourism
Values

Principal
Threats

  • Logging of remaining mature forest areas adjacent to the NBCA.
  • Limestone quarrying.
  • Impacts from hydro-electricity development on Nam Hinboun river and on elephant migration routes.
  • New roading proposals in Nakai District.
  • Increased village populations and resource use.
  • Hunting.
  • Wildlife trade.
  • Fires.
  • Uncertain boundaries.

Reasons for
Proposed
Extension or

Excisions The Phou Ak, Phou Mon and Phou Hai areas to the north east of the NBCA are geologically and geomorphologically distinct from the rest of Phou Hin Poun, but are linked ecologically with the NBCA. They contain extensive areas of undisturbed forest and other habitat and, because they are higher and wetter than Phou Hin poun, are likely to include vegetation communities which are uncommon or absent from the NBCA. These areas are located within the proposed Nam Theun and Nam Kading wildlife corridors and provide habitat or migratory corridors for up to 3 different sub-populations of elephant, as well as gaur.

The Phou Ak escarpment contains a number of salt licks and provides a forested corridor linking the central forest area of the NBCA with the Nakai plateau. This linkage is significant for elephant and gaur populations moving between the NBCA and the plateau. It is probably important for the movement of other species such as tiger and other large cats, hornbill, and possibly sambar, and is also likely to be important for maintaining general biodiversity values.

5. CURRENT MANAGEMENT

Contact

Somlor Vonglampanh (NBCA Manager) - Tel./ Fax 051- 212 755
Robin Delamore (NBCA advisor) - Tel./ Fax 051- 212 755
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Staffing

24 staff (6 PAFO, 18 DAFO from Hinboun (6), Thakek (6), and Gnommalat (6) Districts), I contract advisor. Discussions are being held with Nakai District to provide additional staff.

Organization

 Buildings

  • NBCA office (Thakek), and
  • Three field bases (Thakek, Gnommalat, Hinboun Districts).

Equipment

Office equipment (computers, copier etc).
Field equipment.
2 4WD vehicles, 4 motorcycles.

Financial
Support &
Training

Current
Management
Priorities

Other
Management
Opportunities

  • Assessment and finalisation of NBCA boundaries.
  • Preparation of management plan.
  • Staff capacity building.
  • Patrolling/ ranging activities and monitoring.
  • Conservation awareness.
  • Land and forest allocation.
  • ICAD activities.

Other
Relevant
Project
Initiatives

  • Improved natural resource information.
  • NBCA extensions to protect important habitat.
  • Co-management with villagers.
  • Ecotourism development

Current Project Initiatives in Surrounding Area

  • Village information collection
  • NBCA signs.
  • ICAD development projects.
  • PAFO and NBCA staff oversight of logging in adjacent areas.
  • Conservation awareness activities and market surveys.

 6. REPORTS AND PUBLICATIONS

Anononymus (1998). Rapid and Participatory Biodiversity s National Biodiversity Conservation Area, Khammouan Province, Lao PDR. Vol. 1 - Final Report. WWF Thailand/ Burapa Consultants, Bangkok.

Anononymus (1998). Rapid and Participatory Biodiversity Assessments (BIORAP) in Kammouane Limestone National Biodiversity Conservation Area, Khammouan Province, Lao PDR. Vol. 2 - Consultants Report. WWF Thailand/ Burapa Consultants, Bangkok.

Claridge, G. F. and Bouaphanh Phanthavong (1996). Community Relationships with the Khammouane Limestone NBCA, Lao PDR: Results of a Reconnaissance survey in nine villages. Global Environment Trust Fund Wildlife and Protected Areas Conservation Program in Lao PDR, Midas Agronomics Pty. Ltd., Vientiane.

Claridge, G. F, Nooren, H. and Sorangkhoun, T. (1998). An Assessment of Ecotourism Potential and Issues in the Northern Khammouane Limestone National Biodiversity Conservation Area. Lao GEF Biodiversity Conservation Project.

Claridge, G. F. (1999). Phou Hin Poun National Biodiversity Conservation Area Interim Management Plan - Working Draft Version 1.0 Sept 1999.

Delamore, R. (1999). Proposal for Boundary Reassessment, Khammouane Limestone NBCA. Unpublished Report, FOMACOP, Thakek.

Delamore, R. (1999). Inception Report - Conservation Advisor, Khammouane Limestone (Phou Hinboun) NBCA. Unpublished Report, FOMACOP, Thakek.

Delamore, R (1999). Report of Some Ecotourism Opportunities in Phou Hin Poun NBCA. Unpublished Report, FOMACOP, Thakek.

Gregory, A., Openshaw, S., Senior, K. and Papard, P. (n.d.). Report Following the 1996 LPDR Caves Project to Vientiane and Khammouane Provinces. LPDR Caves Project. Unpublished Report.

Timmins, R. J. (ed). (1997). Notes on Wildlife and Habitats in Khammouan Province, Lao PDR - form visits between 1994 and 1996. Wildife Conservation Society, Vientiane.