A former Khmer Rouge base in Banteay Meanchay is to be given to the birds.
The base and its irrigation dam at Ang Trapang Thmar is a dry season refuge for the
Serus Crane - a species of bird endangered world wide and till recently thought to
be extinct in Cambodia till they were discovered following the end of the war with
The Serus is one of the highest flying birds in the world and is also known for its
ability to fly long distances.
Also found living at the reservoir were Greater Adjutants, Bengal Florican, Black
Neck Storks, Wild Duck and other endangered species.
The discovery has prompted the Government to put in motion moves to have the area
protected under a Royal Conservation Decree signed by the King.
"When we saw the Serus Crane still existed in Cambodia we were so proud,"
said Soun Phalla, a wildlife protection officer in the area.
He hoped that they would now be able to find funding from overseas to assist in the
conservation of the species.
Conservationists have said the move is urgent because there has been an upsurge in
hunting in the area with traders offering high prices for live Cranes - higher even
than for baby tigers.
Meanwhile people living in the proposed conservation area have said they would be
happy to move to make way for the wildlife but they would want Government assistance
in finding new homes and some assistance until their first crops were ready for harvest.