Luang Namtha's Nam Ha Protected Area, named an ASEAN Heritage Park in 2005, comprises 222,400 hectares of land ranging from the lowlands of the Luang Namtha Plain to 2,000 meter peaks of its northern highlands. The park includes some of the most significant and largest contiguous wilderness areas in the Lao PDR. The altitude ranges form 560 meters on the plain to 2,094 meters at the highest peak and thus, supports a wide variety of flora. Among these:
This broad suite of habitats supports a biodiversity of national importance.
As the flora is diverse so is the fauna. At least 37 larger mammal species can be found in the NPA. 19 key species of conservation concern have been observed are reliably reported by villagers. These include:
The bird fauna is also diverse with at least 288 species observed or reported by villagers. At least 18 Key Species of conservation concern were found, including:
To date no survey of small mammals, reptiles, amphibians or fish have been undertaken. These taxons should prove to be highly interesting and of conservation concern as well.
Tracts of relatively undisturbed old secondary forest remain within the Southern Highlands as well as within the Nam Kuaylong River Valley. The spine of the Northern Highlands holds an important mosaic of grasslands and patches of relatively undisturbed montane evergreen forest. These two areas together with their native faunal assemblage, are of very high conservation priority.
The Nam Ha National Biodiversity Conservation was expanded in 1999 and is now contiguous with Shiang Yong Protected Area in Meng La County, China.
Links for Shiang Yong Protected Area in China
Source: A Wildlife and Habitat Survey of Nam Ha and Nam Kong Protected Areas, Luang Namtha Province, Lao PDR, 1997, Department of Resource Conservation/Wildlife Conservation Society Cooperative Program, Dept. of Forestry, Ministry of Agriculuture and Forestry, Lao PDR
By Robert Tizard, Peter Davidson, Khamkhoun and Khounmee Salivong
Revised: June 01, 2009 .