• Association Anoulak

    Laos: Conserving & monitoring Asian elephants in the Annamite Mountains

  • Association Anoulak

    Laos: Conserving & monitoring Asian elephants in the Annamite Mountains

  • Association Anoulak

    Laos: Conserving & monitoring Asian elephants in the Annamite Mountains

  • Association Anoulak

    Laos: Conserving & monitoring Asian elephants in the Annamite Mountains

  • Association Anoulak

    Laos: Conserving & monitoring Asian elephants in the Annamite Mountains

In Brief

Conservation Value:

The Nakai-Nam Theun National Park (~4,000 km2), located in the Annamite Mountain Range, is one of the largest remaining contiguous forest blocks in the Indochinese peninsula and has a very high level of biodiversity and endemism. In Lao PDR this national park has been ranked as the highest priority for its national and global biodiversity importance. In 2008, the Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Project recreated a 450 km2 reservoir, flooding the core habitat of the resident elephant population (Elephas maximus) on the Nakai Plateau. Prior to the completion of the dam, the population was estimated at 132 elephants. Its current conservation status is unknown.

Threats:

Across mainland Southeast Asia, the greatest threat to large vertebrates is overhunting, as is the case for the Nakai-Nam Theun National Park, where many species have been extirpated or have had their populations greatly reduced in the past 2 or 3 decades.

Actions & Results:

Surveying using a non-invasive genetic sampling method to provide information on the population size, genetic diversity and social structure of the elephant population on the Nakai Plateau and surrounding areas. In 2023, Association Anoulak completed its survey of the Asian elephant population on the Nakai Plateau and surrounding areas. A total of 652 samples of elephant dung were collected from November 2022 to May 2023. Using the Protocol for Isolation of DNA from Stool for Human DNA Analysis, DNA was extracted from elephant dung samples at a laboratory at the National University of Health Science in Vientiane, Laos in Q3 of 2023. All DNA extracts have been sent to the Association Beauval Nature (France) and the Royal Zoological Society (Scotland) for laboratory analysis. Completion of the raw data analysis and announcement of preliminary results are both expected in 2024. Besides learning more about elephant abundance, distribution, and population trends within the Nakai Plateau and surrounding areas, and to provide a population estimate across the entire landscape, the information and insights gained from this collaborative research project are expected to help inform protected area management and Asian elephant conservation plans at the local, regional, and national levels.

Goal:

To survey the Asian elephant population on the Nakai Plateau to determine its conservation status and to initiate a local action plan for the conservation of the species.

Location:

Nakai Plateau, Nakai-Nam Theun National Park, Khammouan Province, Lao PDR

Size of Area Involved:

~4,000 km2

Project Field Partner:

Association Anoulak

Our Investment to Date:

Cost, 2022-2023 (ICFC portion): CA$52,482

Gallery

Click to enlarge an image

Red-shanked douc association anoulak) (c)
White-cheeked gibbon in nakai - nam theun national park, laos
Large-antlered muntjac credit association anoulak
White-cheeked gibbon credit association anoulak
Large-antlered muntjac by association anoulak
Assamese macaque credit association anoulak
White-cheeked gibbon on camera-trap 2 credit association anoulak

In More Depth...

International Conservation Fund of Canada Copyright © 2009-2024


Registered Canadian charity # 85247 8189 RR0001