Dong Khanthung 98

Stephen Ling

Up until 1992, Laos had not been subject to any coherent biological survey work and uniquely in Asia had no protected areas. Since then surveys, mainly concentrating on birds have been carried out in 20 areas and 18 National Biodiversity Conservation Areas have been designated. However, the fauna of Laos is still poorly known, and its natural habitats under great threat. The Dong Khanthung Proposed Protected Area has only been briefly surveyed in the past, but these initial results indicate an extremely high conservation value. The primary of this project is to provide up-to-date information on the status of endangered species within the Dong Khanthung area. This information is vital for the designation of the region as a National Biodiversity Conservation Area. Working in close co-operation with the local Forestry Department, the conservation aim of the project is to provide for a long-term system of protection and management for the Dong Kanthung area. Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond their control the expedition was unable to reach to study area as work permits were denied. Instead, they spent a month collecting bird and animal data in Phu Jong Nayoi National Park in eastern Thailand. They hope that some expedition members will be able to return to the are at a later date with studies concentrating on the threatened remnant population of the Brow-antlered deer (Cervus eldi).