Habitat: Forest types include evergreen, mixed deciduous, dry dipterocarp. The Phu Xang Hae range is dominated by a steep sandstone escarpment, while slopes to the south and the west rise more gently to the plateau. Sandstone outcrops occur hroughout the NPA and can be quite extensive.

Access: Phu Xang Hae is accessible from National Route 9.

1. GENERAL INFORMATIONFORMATION

Name

Phu Xang He; Abbreviated: PXH

Status

Established by PM Decree 164, 29 October 1993

Location

Latitude: 16o 42' - 17o 04'N
Longitude: 105o 19' - 106o 06'E.

Map Sheets

Scale I:

E48103

E48104

Scale I:

E48115

E48116

E48117

Scale I: 500,000

Provinces

Savannakhet

Districts

Atsapon 30%
Palansai 22%
Phin 10%
Xepon 4%
Vilabouri 34%

Perimeter

Boundaries

Area

1060 km² as decreed, (LSFP, 1995).
1100 km2 as recognised by CPAWM.
1180 km2 as estimated from current maps.
?? km2 as estimated from GIS spatial data.
1299 km2 including proposed extension.

Proposed
Extensions or
Excisions

For the most part, the boundary of PXH is easily discernible as where the land starts to rise at the base of the Phu Xang He and Phu Hinho-Katon hills. The only

exception to this is the corridor between these two groups of hills which is bounded to the north by the Dong Xebay forest and to the south by the Huai Alom and Huai Xeloun creeks. The NBCA boundary follows the Sai Phu Xang He escarpment for most of its northern length, it is bounded by the Xe Namkok River to the east and to the south by the Huai Thingalong creek in Palansai and the Palanhin Phoutakouan darns in Atsapon.

The proposed extension would incorporate the entire Dong Mai Khaen Phalam Forest in Atsapon district up to the western extremity where it meets the Huai Xetouk creek.

There is a proposed extension of 117 km2 to the West and South of the current western extremity of the NBCA in Atsapon district. For management purposes, this proposed extension is already treated as part of the NBCA and is recognised as such by the twenty villages which exercise traditional use rights over the area.

 Access

Phu Xang He is accessible from the South for its entire length via numerous

tracks and paths leading from National Route 9. Its northern border can be reached from the road between Mahaxai and Vilabouri but the NBCA itself is largely inaccessible from this direction due to steep escarpments. Access to the corridor zone is possible from Vilabouri to the North and Xetamouak to the South, but vehicular traffic is limited to the dry season. Access to the Phu Hinho-Katok hills is possible from the North and the East by the road between Xepon and Vilabouri. Access by river is possible in some areas, but only during the wet season and only for quite short distances into the NBCA.

Access to the NBCA will increase markedly post 2000 with the completion of a number of planned or on-going road projects. Access from Vilabouri and the North will be eased with the new road from Mahaxai, as will access from the East when the on-going improvements to the Xepon-Vilabouri road are completed. The planned upgrading of Route 9 will not only improve access from the South, but will also increase the potential for trade in forest products by providing better links with both Vietnam and Thailand.

Stakeholder
Villages &
Population

District

Villages

Village type

Population

I

II

III

IV

Atsapon

48

1

13

14

20

Palansai

13

0

7

1

5

Phin

11

1

3

3

4

 

Xepon

13

0

7

2

4

Vilabouri

32

8

19

1

4

TOTAL

117

10

49

21

37

Principal Local
Resource
Uses

Ethnic
Composition

PXH guardian villages are either Lao Lum or Lao Theung. Phu Tai account entirely for the former group, while Lao Theung include the Mon Kong, Suai and Katang groups. Neither Lao Sung nor Ethnic Lao are represented. Livelihood systems of these groups are paddy rice based, with some livestock raising supported by hunting, fishing and NTFP collection from the NBCA.

2. BRIEF HISTORY

1992

Reconnaissance survey conducted by DoF

1993

Phu Xang He NBCA established
Wildlife and habitat survey
Aerial photographs taken

1994

NBCA resposibility given to Provincial Porestry Office (PAFO)

1995

First annual activity plan
Village socio-economic surveys
Village credit program (SIDA)
NBCA staff in province and districts

1996

First annual plan implemented
First land use planning conducted
Awareness activities in 10 villages

1997

Basic training for NBCA staff
Three districts receive management budget
PRA training for NBCA staff

1998

Participatory conservation training
Management training for NBCA staff
Long-term advisor attached to PXH
Aerial photos procured

1999

Provincial PXH office established
First village development program
Eco-tourism survey conducted
First conservation network established

3. ECOLOGY

Physical
Features

Topographically PXH comprises two NW-SE oriented hills, the Sai Phu Xang He and Sai Phu Hino-Katon. To the North and Northeast the Sai Phu Xang He range is dominated by a steep sandstone escarpment, while slopes to the South and the West rise more gently to the plateau. Sandstone outcrops or darns occur throughout the NBCA and can be quite extensive particularly on the southern aspects of the Sai Phu Xang He range.

The NBCA contains no standing water bodies and many of its creeks and small rivers are highly seasonal. Indeed, the plateau and higher slopes are extremely arid in the dry season and many large mammals are forced to migrate to lower elevations for water at that time. The NBCA is drained to the South by the Xe Xangxoy, Xe Thamouak and the Xe Champhon rivers and to the North by the Xe Bay and the Xe Noy rivers. 

PXH is somewhat unique in the presence of a lowland area between the Sai Phu Xang He and the Sai Phu Hinho-Katon hills which acts as an important corridor for wildlife migration between the 2 hills. Although still largely forested, the corridor zone has been settled and contains 8 enclave or type I villages.

Elevation

Climate

Climate in PXH is dominated by the SW and NE monsoons which produce three distinct seasons: cool dry (November-February), hot dry (March-May) and a wet season under the influence of the southwest monsoon (June-October)
From December - January strong northerly winds from North Vietnam blow across the NBCA further reducing temperatures to a mean minimum of 14 0 C during this period.

Main Forest Types

Evergreen Forest 41 %
Dry Dipterocarp 7 %
Mixed Decidous 44 %
Farming 6 %
Other 2 %

Other
Habitat
Features

Recorded

Vertebrates

MAMMALS

Common Name

Scientific Name

Importance

Status

Asian Elephant

Elephas maximus

P

Giant Muntjack

Megamuntiacus muntjak

P

Gaur

Bos gaurus

P

Banteng

Bos javanicus

P

Lesser Slow Loris

Nycticebus coucang

VH

VC

Pygmy Loris

Nycticebus pygmaeus

V

C

Douc Langur

Pygathrix nemaeus

F

Gibbons

Hylobates ssp.

VH

F

Asiatic Black Bear

Selenarctos thibetanus

P

Sun Bear

Ursus malayanus

P

Tiger

Panthera tigris

VH

P

Leopard

Panthera pardus

P

Large-spotted Civet

Viverra megaspila

VH

P

Asian Wild Dog (Dhole)

Cuon alpinus

P

BIRDS

Common Name

Scientific Name

Importance

Status

Siamese Fireback

Lophura diardi

C

Red-collared Woodpecker

Picus rabieri

T

F

Black-headed Woodpecker

Picus erythropygius

C

Pale-headed Woodpecker

Gecinulus grantia

P

Grey Peacock Pheasant

Polyplectron bicalcaratum

P

Bar-backed Partridge

Aboriphilia brunneopectus

C

Ruddy Kingfisher

Halycon coromanda

P

Brown Hornbill

Ptilolaemus tickelli

P

Wreathed Hornbill

Rhyticeros undulatus

S

Red-vented Barbet

Megalaima lagrandieri

NT

C

Bar-bellied Pitta

Pitta ellioti

T

C

Ratchet-tailed Treepie

Temnurus temnurus

NT

S

Grey-faced Tit-babbler

Macronous kelleyi

NT

C

Rufous-throated Fulvetta

Alcippe rufogularis

NT

C

Mountain Fulvetta

Alcippe poioicephala

AR

P

Golden-crested Mynah

Ampeliceps coronatus

F

Notes :

Importance: AR = at-risk T = threatened NT = near-threatened V = vulnerable
VH = very high conservation value

Status: S = scarce P = present F = frequent C = common VC = very common

4. EVALUATION 

Principal Contributions to the NBCA System

Biodiversity
Values

  • Phu Xang He contains many species of globally threatened large mammals including elephants, cattle, big cats and bears, all of which require large areas

of undisturbed habitat for their survival. The sheer size of PXH and its

relatively pristine state means that it is of major national and regional importance in supporting these species.

  • The presence of five species of higher primates in PXH is of significant importance. The three with the highest conservation priority, Francois's Langur

( Semnopithecus francoisi ), Douc Langur ( Pygathrix nemaeus ) and the Black

Gibbon ( Hylobates concolor ), are all common throughout the NBCA. The

other two species are macaques.

  • Populations of Tiger ( Panthera tigris ), Leopard ( Panthera pardus ), Clouded Leopard ( Neofelis nebulosa ) and Large spotted Civet ( Viverra megaspila ) are present in the NBCA.
  • Elephants ( Elephas maximus ) are commonly observed and populations are currently estimated to number between 40 and 50 individuals.
  • Pygmy Loris ( Nycticebus pygmaeus ) and the lesser Slow Loris ( N. coucang ) are common throughout the NBCA.

PXH contains 7 species of globally threatened or near threatened bird species, most notably the Bar Bellied Pitta ( Pitta ellioti ). The Phu Hinho-Katok hills at the eastern extremity of the NBCA are particularly important in terms of bird species richness.

Watershed
Values

  • Four out of five of Savannaket's major watersheds have their head-waters in PXH and hence the NBCA plays a key role in maintaining the integrity of the province's critical upper watersheds. Given Savannaket's position as the country's leading rice producer, the sustainable management of these upper watersheds is of the highest strategic importance from a national food security standpoint.
  • To the North, PXH contains the Xebay watershed, the major tributary of the Xe Bangfai which drains the northern part of Savannaket, eventually flowing into the Mekong near the border with Khamouane.
  • In the South, the NBCA contains the headwaters of the Xe Champon, the Xe Xangxoy and the Xe Thamouak, and to the East, also contributes to the Xe Bang Hiang. These 4 watersheds drain the entire central and southern portions of Savannaket province, supporting numerous irrigation systems.

The head-waters of these major river systems in PXH are important breeding grounds for many of the migratory fish species which inhabit the Mekong River and its major tributaries.

Security

Values

Cultural
Values

Darn Mon, a significant religious site in PXH, receives many Buddhist visitors and is host to a locally important religious ceremony each year in ??.

Recreation
and Tourism
Values

PXH is strategically placed to the North of Route 9, a major East-West tourist route between Thailand and Vietnam . A survey of foreign tourists who traveled this route, revealed a high level of interest in various forms of nature tourism in the NBCA.

Principal
Threats

  • Extreme poverty is forcing guardian villagers into hunting and non-sustainable NTFP extraction from the NBCA.
  • Habitat-loss caused mainly by agricultural land expansion in village types I and II is of particular concern in the corridor and the proposed extension areas.
  • National and provincial concession holders for timber, rattan andNaman Yang, etc. are increasingly attempting to encroach into the NBCA as such resources become scarce elsewhere.
  • Lack of inter-village coordination, poor community organisation and low levels of empowerment make most guardian villages powerless to deal with threats external to their own community.
  • On-going or planned road development is increasing opportunities for illegal trade in wildlife and forest products.
  • Fire occurs each year in the mixed deciduous forest areas of PXH and indications are that this may be slowly eroding adjoining areas of dry evergreen forest.

Reasons for
Proposed
Extensions or
Excisions

5. CURRENT MANAGEMENT

Contact

Mr. Phoukong Soungnawongsa. Tel. 041 212941
Provincial Agriculture and Forestry Office Fax. 041 212941
Savannaket Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Staffing

Provincial staff: 3, District staff: 10, Advisor: 1

Organization

Buildings

1 provincial NBCA Office in Savannaket, no field offices

Equipment

5 motorcycles (on order)
1 4x4 pick-up and 5 additional motorcycles (on order)
GPS, compass, binoculars, camping and patrol equipment is available for use on a loan basis from the Provincial NBCA Office.
Camping, cooking and trekking equipment for eco-tourism groups of up to 10 people is maintained at the NBCA Office.

Financial
Support &
Training

Financial support from Sida through the Lao Swedish Forestry Programme (LSFP) from 1990-2000.
Annual budget 60,000,000 Kip (FY 1999-00).
Technical support from IUCN through LSFP.

Current
Management
Priorities

  • Upgrading provincial government capacity in natural resources management and development planning.
  • Participatory conservation management methods development.
  • Guardian village livelihood development activities.
  • Networking of NBCA guardian villages.
  • Public awareness and family planning programs.
  • Development of community-based nature tourism activities.
  • Development of a user-oriented NBCA management information system.

Other
Management
Opportunities

Other Relevant
Project
Intiatives

6. REPORTS AND PUBLICATIONS

Anon. (1998). Socio-Economic Profile of Savannaket Province . Lao PDR Province Profiles Series

Anon. (1999 No. 5. UNDP, Vientiane. ). Information Brochure for Phu Xang He NBCA. LSFP/IUCN, Vientiane . (In Preparation).

Anon. (1999). National Study on the Socio-Economic Impact of Unexploded Ordnance, Savannaket Province and District Report. Handicap International, Vientiane .

Boonratana, R. (1998). Field Management of Nam Phui and Phu Xang He National Biodiversity Conservation Areas. LSFP/IUCN, Vientiane .

Craig, I. A. (1998-99). Monthly Progress Reports of the Long-Term Conservation Advisor to PXH. LSFP/IUCN, Savannaket.

Craig, I. A. (1999). Annual Analytical Report, Field Conservation Advisor. LSFP/IUCN, Vientiane .

Craig, I. A. (1999). A Proposed Fisheries Conservation Program: Namuang, Atsapon District. Unpublished Report LSFP/IUCN, Savannaket.

Craig, I. A. (1999). Participatory Natural Resources Management and Conservation in the Lao PDR: Key Issues and Technical Support Needs. Advisor's Inception Report. LSFP/IUCN, Vientiane .

Craig, I. A. (1999). Survey on the Potential for Community-Based Eco-tourism in Savannaket. Unpublished Report, IUCN/LSFP, Savannaket.

Duckworth, J. W., Timmins , R. J. and Cozza, K. (1993). A Wildlife and Habitat Survey of Phu Xang He Proposed Protected Area. LSFP/IUCN, Vientiane .

Flint , C.A. and Chantavong, K. (1998). Participatory Protected Area Management in Nam Phui and Phu Xang He. (2 vols.) LSFP/IUCN, Vientiane .

Jones, P. R. (1999). Report on Land Use Planning in the Villages of Ban Katep, Ban Som Sanuk and Ban Non Samlan, Vilabouri District, Phu Xang He NBCA, Savannaket Province . Unpublished Report, LSFP, Vientiane .

Phanthavong, B. and Dobias, R. (1993). Draft Management Framework for Phu Xang He. DOF, Vientiane .

Sengsavanh, V. and Evans, T. (1997). A Consultancy to Support Management of Phu Xang He and Xe Bang Nouan Protected Areas, Final Report. LSFP/IUCN, Vientiane .