The IBA comprises the Dong Kalo area of Xe Pian National Protected Area, in southern Lao P.D.R. The topography of the IBA is dominated by an extensive plain, bisected by the Houay Kaliang, a seasonal stream, and Sayphou Kiou, a ridge of high ground. The vegetation of the IBA is dominated by dry dipterocarp forest but with some lowland mosaic forest, as well as semi-evergreen forest along watercourses and on Sayphou Kiou. There are numerous pools throughout the IBA, some of which are seasonal (Thewlis et al. 1998). To the east, the IBA is contiguous with Western Siem Pang IBA (KH032) in Cambodia, which supports a similar mosaic of habitats. A number of large waterbirds have been recorded at the IBA, including Giant Ibis Thaumatibis gigantea, Woolly-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus, Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus, and, possibly, Sarus Crane Grus antigone. However, as most available data are from the early 1990s, the current status of these species is unknown. Although the numbers of many of these species at the IBA may be quite low, they may form part of larger populations centred on Western Siem Pang IBA. In this context, the IBA may also be important for White-shouldered Ibis Pseudibis davisoni, which has been confirmed to occur within contiguous areas of Cambodia, although not within Dong Kalo IBA. In addition, while their occurrence has not been confirmed, the IBA may form part of a network of sites in southern Lao P.D.R. and northern Cambodia important for the conservation of White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis, Slender-billed Vulture G. tenuirostris and Red-headed Vulture Sarcogyps calvus.
The populations of large waterbirds within the IBA adjoin larger populations in Cambodia, therefore their viability may be greater than their small size might suggest.
Non-bird biodiversity: Cox et al. (1992) observed one Dhole Cuon alpinus at the IBA, and reported the presence of both Tiger Panthera tigris and Leopard P. pardus, on the basis of footprints. Tiger has since been confirmed to occur at the site on the basis of footprints (M. K. Poulsen, pers. comm.). In additional, WWF (1997) observed Sun Bear Ursus malayanus and Golden Jackal Canis aureus.Duckworth et al. (1993) recorded three species of primate: Slow Loris Nycticebus coucang, Long-tailed Macaque Macaca fascicularis and a gibbon species Hylobates sp. WWF (1997) observed Pig-tailed Macque M. nemestrina and Long-tailed Macaque M. fascicularis and heard Yellow-cheeked Crested Gibbon Hylobates gabriellae.Duckworth et al (1993) found Banteng Bos javanicus tracks to the north of the Houay Kaliang. WWF (1997) found signs of Banteng and Gaur B. gaurus. In addition, Cox et al. (1992) found old signs of Asian Elephant Elephas maximus, and received local reports that Gaur occurred at Dong Kalo but that they were rare.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Hunting and disturbance to birds are two of the main threats to biodiversity at the IBA. Levels of human activity are relatively high throughout the IBA. Hunting is a particular threat to large waterbirds and, if it occurs, Green Peafowl Pavo muticus. Habitat degradation and loss is another major threat, with some areas on Sayphou Kiou reportedly being cleared for cultivation, and timber extraction being reported during a survey in 1993 (Duckworth et al. 1993).
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Dong Kalo. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 20/02/2020.