Protecting Nakai-Nam Theun
Nakai-Nam Theun National Park is the second-largest protected area in Laos, located in the heart of the Annamite Mountains. This mountain range is home to rare and elusive wildlife including the saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis), the large-antlered muntjac (Muntiacus vuquangensis) and the Annamite striped rabbit (Nesolagus timminsi). There are 31 villages within the limits of Nakai-Nam Theun with an estimated population of 7000. These people have always used the forest as a resource, both for hunting and collecting. In addition, the Annamites wildlife faces pressure from poachers (most of them Vietnamese), who encourage local people to hunt wild animals (especially for traditional medicine) in exchange for money. Due to the large size of the area and the long border with Vietnam, keeping poachers away is a big challenge for the local authorities.