Khammouan Limestone

Country/territory: Laos

IBA Criteria met: A2, A3 (2003)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 79,000 ha

Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2008 medium not assessed low
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
The IBA is situated inside Khammouan Limestone (Phou Hinboun) National Protected Area, in central Lao P.D.R. The IBA comprises a large, representative section of the national protected area. The north-west and south of the IBA are dominated by sparsely vegetated limestone karst, while the centre comprises an area of semi-evergreen forest and mixed deciduous forest on non-calcareous substrate, referred to as the 'central forest area' (Timmins 1997, Thewlis et al. 1998). The IBA was defined principally for Sooty Babbler Stachyris herberti, a species endemic to limestone areas in central Lao P.D.R. and central Vietnam. The IBA is expected to support a large population of this species. In addition, the IBA supports a form of leaf warbler Phylloscopus sp., which may represent an undescribed taxon, with a similar range to Sooty Babbler (P. Alström in litt. to Duckworth et al. 1998). Furthermore, the IBA supports populations of a number of globally threatened primates, most notably a taxon of Francois's Langur Semnopithecus francoisi endemic to Lao P.D.R. (Duckworth et al. 1999).

Key biodiversity
The IBA is an important area for Sooty Babbler S. herberti. This species is endemic to Karst Limestone in central Laos and in central Annam (Vietnam). In Laos, apart from this IBA the species are only found commonly in Hin Namno Protected Area (in two IBAs selected in that PA) and uncommonly found in the Upper Xe Bangfai IBA.

Non-bird biodiversity: There were three records of other important fauna, one confirmed record and two unconfirmed: either Sun Bear U. malayanus or Asiatic Black Bear U. thibetanus (confirmed), either Fishing Cat P. viverrinus or Asian Golden Cat C. temminckii (unconfirmed) and Tiger P. tigris (unconfirmed) (Steinmetz 1998).Timmins (1997) and Steinmetz (1998) recorded three species of primate in the IBA: Assamese Macaque Macaca assamensis, Francois's Langur Semnopithecus francoisi and a gibbon species Hylobates sp.Steinmetz (1998) recorded Asian Elephant Elephas maximus and provisional recorded Southern Serow Naemorhedus sumatraensis in the central forest area, in the south-east of the IBA. In addition, Steinmetz (1998) received unconfirmed reports of Asian Elephant, Gaur Bos gaurus and Southern Serow from this area.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Khammouan Limestone. Downloaded from on 01/12/2021.