Nam Ha National Protected Area - Rich repository of biodiversity, ethnic diversity and knowledge

Year of Declaration:  2003
Area (hectares): 224,400
Area and Location:

222,400 hectares; Luang  Namtha Province, Lao PDR.



Home to more than 20 ethnic groups; 4th largest national protected area in the country; extremely important watershed; harbors high population of birds and mammals; ranks 3rd for birds and 5th for large mammals out of 20 protected areas in the country; ranks 3rd in the national management priority index based on biodiversity and watershed values, ecotourism potential, and level of pressure on the site. 


Habitat Types:

Evergreen gallery forests, semi-evergreen forests, subtropical  Castanopsis forest, sub-montane forests on the higher peaks; mosaic of grasslands; limestone forests on the karst portions; caves; freshwater streams, secondary scrub and village lands.


Unique Flora:

Aquilaria trees; cardamom; Jewel orchid; Cinnamomum sp.; bamboos and rattans; dipterocap trees; Castanopsis stands.


Unique Fauna:

Clouded leopard; Leopard; tiger; gaur; muntjac, Asian elephants; black-cheeked gibbon; northern pigtail and rhesus macaques; great flocks of butterflies including the amazing leaf butterfly (Kallima sp.),Papilio and Graphium species, Indian purple emperor (Mimathyma ambica); silver pheasant (Lophurany cthemera); Blythe’s kingfisher; spectacular great hornbill (Buceros bicornis);and green peacock (Pavo muticus).


Ecotourism Destination and Activities:

Spectacular views, caves and waterfalls and other natural and cultural landscapes; minority groups have their own distinct culture and colorful costumes, and they live relatively traditional lifestyles and have a strong tradition in herbal medicine; other activities include trekking, hiking, kayaking, rafting mountain biking and boat tours through villages of Luang Namtha, Muang Sing, Vieng Phoukha  and Long; homestays in local villages.


Biological Richness: • 2,000 species of plants
• 37 species of large mammals
• 288 species of birds