Lower Lancang (Mekong)




J. Hales



Major Habitat Type

Tropical and subtropical floodplain rivers and wetland complexes



This ecoregion includes the Mekong and its tributaries from Nam Kading upstream (excluding the central Laos lowlands) to Xishuangbanna (China).

Justification for delineation

For Southeast Asia, delineations were determined using a bottom-up approach that employed both published and unpublished field data and expert assessment (Abell et al. 2008; Chu et al. 1989; Chu & Chen 1990; Kottelat 1989, 1998, 2001). The boundaries in China are not exact due to the lack of accurate data. Each river basin is characterized by a relatively low number of species, but with a high ratio of endemism among hill-stream specialized genera of the families Cyprinidae, Balitoridae, Sisoridae, and Gobiidae (M. Kottelat pers. comm. 2006).


  • Chu, Xinluo,Chen, Yinrui;et.al (1989). "The fishes of Yunnan, China Part I" Beijing: Science Press.
  • Chu, Xinluo;Chen, Yinrui (1990). "The fishes of Yunnan, China Part II" Beijing: Science Press.
  • Abell, Robin,M.L. Thieme,C. Revenga,M. Bryer,M. Kottelat,N. Bogutskaya,B. Coad,N. Mandrak,S.C. Balderas,W. Bussing,M.L.J. Stiassny,P. Skelton,G.R. Allen,P. Unmack,A. Naseka,R. Ng,N. Sindorf,J. Robertson,E. Armijo,J.V. Higgins,T.J. Heibel,E. Wikramanayake, (2008). "Freshwater Ecoregions of the World: A New Map of Biogeographic Units for Freshwater Biodiversity Conservation" BioScience 58 (5) pp. 403-414.
  • Kottelat, M. (1989). "Zoogeography of the fishes from Indochinese inland waters with an annotated check-list" Bulletin Zoologisch Museum Universiteit van Amsterdam 12 (1) pp. 1-54.
  • Kottelat, M. (1998). "Fishes of the Nam Theun and Xe Banfai basins, Laos, with diagnoses of twenty-two new species (Teleostei: Cyprinidae, Balitoridae, Cobitidae, Coiidae and Odontobutidae)" Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters 9 pp. 1-128.
  • Kottelat, M. (2001). "Fishes of Laos" Colombo: Wildlife Heritage Trust.