The entire Nam Leuk catchment is within the Phou Khao Khouy National Biodiversity Conservation Area, however no attention has been given to aquatic organisms. Research is urgently needed to determine whether the species still survives since the construction of the dam and if it is present elsewhere within the catchment (Kottelat 2000).
This fish is known from one location in Nam Leuk River, Lao PDR (Kottelat 2000) from the Nam Leuk dam site and from nearby. Other rivers in the area have not been surveyed. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated at ca. 10 km², based on previous surveys, before construction of the dam.
Lao People's Democratic Republic
This species is currently only known from two survey carried out in 1997 and 1998 (W. Rainboth, pers. comm.). No other information is available on population as no further research has been carried out in the area since (Kottelat 2000). The species was described from a type series of ca. 200 specimens, so appears to have been present in good numbers.
Construction of the Nam Leuk dam began in 1997 and was completed in 1999. This species was only collected between the dam site and downstream, where the river entered the Mekong floodplain. It is unclear as to how much water (i.e., suitable habitat) is now available downstream of the dam (Kottelat 2000). Logging, deforestation and agriculture occurs in the area, with associated impacts on the aquatic environment through soil erosion, sedimentation and agricultural pollution expected (M. Kottelat pers. comm. 2011).