Wildlife of Southern Laos

23

Nov
2021

Wildlife Of Southern Laos
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The geographical features of Southern Laos make it a particularly rich area in terms of wildlife. The Bolaven Plateau, with its sparse human habitation and cool climate, sustains a variety of wildlife, while the steep cliffs and caves in the limestone karst formations found throughout Southern Laos attract several kinds of animals. They provide secure habitats for birds as well as smaller mammals. Indeed, it is in this part of the country that several species, once thought extinct, have been rediscovered. Notable among them are the Laotian rock rat and the spindlehorn. Even larger mammals such as bears, tigers, elephants, and a variety of primates, often victims of poachers, have relatively large populations here.

MAMMALS

The region is home to a plethora of mammalian species ranging in size from the Asian elephant to the humble squirrel. Several species, such as the lesser panda and the pygmy slow loris, are unique to Laos.

The Indochinese tiger, a magnificent feline, has been relentlessly hunted for its skin and bones, driving it to the brink of extinction. It is believed to number less than 100 in the wild in Laos.

Asiatic black bears are distinguished by a white crest on the chest. These shy creatures survive in the remote regions of southeastern Laos.

The spindlehorn sports long, curving  horns. A forest- dwelling bovine,  it resembles an antelope and was identified in 1992 in Vietnam.

Yellow-cheeked crested gibbons engage in elaborate mating songs  and live over 50 years in the wild. Adult males are black with golden cheeks, while females are golden.

BIRDS

Over 700 species of birds are found in Laos including such magnificent creatures as the Sarus crane. While indiscriminate hunting has put a few species on the endangered list, many  are prolific breeders and their populations are, in fact, increasing.

Hornbills are characterized by a large and often colorful beak. Over 50 species of hornbill have been discovered. These birds prefer to nest in small caves in the limestone karst.

Woolly necked storks are a large wing-span species found near lakes and other water bodies. They nest in high trees and are usually silent, communicating only by mutual bill-tapping.

The Sarus crane, at a height of 6 ft (2 m), is the world’s tallest non-migratory flying bird. It is distinguished by the red plumage on its head and has a wing span of 8 ft (2.4 m).

 

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