Dong Khanthung

Country/territory: Laos

IBA criteria met: A1, A3, A4i (2003)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 191,560 ha

IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2008 not assessed medium low
For more information about IBA monitoring, please click here

Site description (2003 baseline)
The IBA is located inside Dong Khanthung proposed protected area, in southern Lao P.D.R. The topography of the IBA is dominated by a flat plain, between 90 and 120 m asl, bordered to the south by the Xe Lamphao, which forms the international border with Cambodia, and to the west by a ridge of hills, between 200 and 500 m asl, which form the international border with Thailand. Within the IBA, there are many permanent and seasonal pools, streams and rivers. The vegetation of the IBA comprises a mosaic of dry dipterocarp forest and semi-evergreen forest, with taller forest being found mainly along watercourses (Round 1998). To the south, the IBA is contiguous with Chhep IBA (KH016) in Cambodia, which supports a similar mosaic of habitats. The mosaic of forests and wetlands within the IBA is important for the conservation of a suite of large waterbirds, including Giant Ibis Thaumatibis gigantea, Black-necked Stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus, Woolly-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus and Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus, of which the latter two species are confirmed to breed (Round 1998). Sarus Crane Grus antigone has also been recorded at the IBA but the population is not believed to be significant and the species is believed to be on the verge of extirpation (Round 1998). White-shouldered Ibis Pseudibis davisoni has been provisionally recorded, and, if it was confirmed to regularly occur in significant numbers, the conservation importance of the IBA would be markedly increased. The riverine habitats within the IBA are important for a suite of key bird species, including White-winged Duck Cairina scutulata, Masked Finfoot Heliopais personata, Lesser Fish Eagle Ichthyophaga humilis and Grey-headed Fish Eagle I. ichthyaetus. While there may not be sufficient suitable habitat within the IBA to support viable populations of these species in the long term, the IBA forms part of a network of sites in southern Lao P.D.R., northern Cambodia and eastern Thailand that may be able to. Small numbers of White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis and Red-headed Vulture Sarcogyps calvus have been recorded at the IBA, although, again, these are probably part of larger populations distributed across a wider area. Other globally threatened and near-threatened bird species found at the IBA include Green Peafowl Pavo muticus, White-rumped Falcon Polihierax insignis and Asian Golden Weaver Ploceus hypoxanthus (Round 1998). In addition, the IBA is the only known wintering site for Manchurian Reed Warbler Acrocephalus tangorum in Lao P.D.R. (Duckworth et al. 1999), although this species may occur widely elsewhere, as there has been little ornithological study at potentially suitable localities. Furthermore, the IBA is one of only two sites in Lao P.D.R. known to support Moustached Hawk Cuckoo Cuculus vagans (Duckworth et al. 1999). Finally the IBA supports Pileated Gibbon Hylobates pileatus (Duckworth et al. 1999), and one of only two confirmed populations of Eld's Deer Cervus eldii in Lao P.D.R. (Duckworth et al. 1999, Vongkhamheng and Phirasack 2002), although, if this population is still extant, it is under intense threat (Round 1998).

Key biodiversity
The IBA is one of few IBAs support Giant Ibis, White-winged Duck and Black-necked Stork in Laos. The IBA also supports many other important Key species of birds including Green Peafowl. Amongst the all Key species, Green Peafowl, White-winged Duck and Giant Ibis are immediately threatened with extirpation from the area. Thus, ugent intervention is needed to prevent the present exceptionally high biodiversity being eroded.Biome-restricted species: The site qualifies under criterion A3 because it supports 14 species restricted to the Indochinese Tropical Moist Forests (Biome 09) and 23 species restricted to the Indo-Malayan Tropical Dry Zone (Biome 11) (Round 1998, Evans et al. 2000). See Appendix 3 for details.

Non-bird biodiversity: Round (1998) recorded two species of primate: Pig-tailed Macaque Macaca nemestrina and Pileated Gibbon Hylobates pileatus.The survey of amphibians and reptiles by Stuart (1998) attatched (as APPENDIX 4) in Round (1998) found out the possible presence of five species of turtles: Asian Box Turtle Cuora amboinensis, Giant Asian Pond Turtle Heosemys grandis, Malayan Snail-eating Turtle Malayemys subtrijuga, Elongated Tortoise Indotestudo elongata and Asiatic Softshell Turtle Amyda cartilaginea.Round (1998) recorded three species of elephant and ungulate in the IBA: Asian Elephant Elephas maximus, Gaur Bos gaurus and Banteng Bos javanicus.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Dong Khanthung. Downloaded from on 28/02/2024.