|Marine||No||Kottelat, M. and T. Whitten, 1996|
|Freshwater||563||51||No||262||Kottelat, M. and T. Whitten, 1996|
|Total||567||51||No||265||Kottelat, M., 1998|
|Conservation||A synopsis on the freshwater fishes exists and a recent checklist is in preparation (Ref. 12217). Apart from the Mekong river the country is virtually unknown from an ichthyological point of view. Probably 100-200 additional species with restricted distributions should be expected in the unexplored rapids and hill streams (Ref. 12217). The following information is to be sought: - Existence of conservation plans; - Information on major aquatic habitats or sites within the country; - Current major threats to species; - Future potential threats to species; - Contact(s) for further information. As of 1998, unpublished data counts 357 species (Ref. 27732).|
|Geography and Climate||
Laos is is a landlocked country, located in Southeastern Asia, northeast of Thailand, west of Vietnam. Area comparatively slightly larger than Utah. Total land boundary is 5,083 km, border countries are Burma 235 km, Cambodia 541 km, China 423 km, Thailand 1,754 km, Vietnam 2,130 km.
Laos has a tropical monsoon climate; rainy season (May to November); dry season (December to April). Terrain consists mostly of rugged mountains; some plains and plateaus. Elevation extreme has the lowest point in Mekong River 70 m and highest point in Phou Bia 2,817 m.
Natural resources are timber, hydropower, gypsum, tin, gold, gemstones. Land use: arable land: 3%, permanent crops: 0%, permanent pastures: 3%, forests and woodland: 54%, other: 40% (1993 est.). Irrigated land: 1,250 sq km (1993 est.). Natural hazards are floods, droughts, and blight.
Environment—current issues: unexploded ordnance; deforestation; soil erosion; a majority of the population does not have access to potable water
Ref. Anonymous, 1999
|Hydrography||Freshwater sites of exceptional biodiversity interest are the Khône falls.|