Phou Khao Khouay National Protected Area: A Field Survey of Green Peafowl (Pavo Muticus)

This report presents results of a survey of the endangered Green Peafowl (Pavo Muticus) in Phou Khao Khouay (PKK) National Protected Area (NPA), conducted between 28th March to 3rd April, 2015 by participatory teams made of villagers from nearby villages and soldiers from PKK-NPA Management Unit. A three-day training workshop was first provided to the 12 participants, by experienced conservation biologists from the Lao Wildlife Conservation Association (Lao WCA), on basic techniques of Green Peafowl survey and conservation, including the use of navigation tools (compass, GPS, maps) and field data recording. Participants were then divided into six teams of two people to conduct the ground field survey. The target area was divided into 2x2 km-grid cells, and a central point was placed in each to provide a reference for the teams to use as listening posts that were spaced two kilometer apart. Given the current knowledge of presence and distribution of Green Peafowls provided by local villagers and NPA staff, we only focused our field survey on six grid cells (approximate 24 km2 or 240 hectares in area). Listening for bird calls was conducted in the morning between 6:00am to 8:00 am, and the evening between 5:00pm to 6:00pm (peak calls of birds). Teams also walked to search for Green Peafowl signs (feathers, footprint, droppings), mainly nearby the waterholes along streams, in the day time after the completion of listening to bird calls. Listening at each point was made by a team for two consecutive days. This resulted in two mornings’ and two evenings’ observations at each point. Calls were recorded on data forms giving the detailed compass bearings, type of calls (males or females), times and the numbers of calls. Signs of birds were also recorded giving detailed information on GPS coordinates and other related information. Our findings provide clear evidence that the Green Peafowl remains in existence in the PKK-NPA. Of the six listening posts, four recorded Green Peafowl calls, which accounted for a minimum estimate of approximately 8 individuals (or clusters). Other signs of Green Peafowls, e.g., features and footprints, were also recorded by survey teams in two other surveyed grid cells where Green Peafowl calls had not been heard. Given the above findings it is suggested that immediate conservation actions are required to secure a viable population of this last remaining population of Green Peafowl in the Lao PDR. The major threats to the Green Peafowl, e.g., direct hunting, and collecting of its eggs, need to be removed. Participatory anti-poaching teams, made up of villagers and staff from the military’s PKK-NPA conservation unit, should be established and supported to conduct continuous forest patrols, and a public awareness campaign in the target villages are a high priority. It is suggested that a specific regulation for species conservation needs to be developed, and effectively enforced through a participatory approach.

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Effective Implementation of Payments for Environmental Services in Lao PDR

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-23

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