One-time hunters recruited to a conservation project have helped threatened bird populations in the Tonle Sap Lake recover, according to a Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) report.
The WCS report said populations of some of the bird species had increased 20-fold since the project began in 2001 at Tonle Sap Lake.
The project by the WCS and the Ministry of Environment employed about 30 former hunters and egg collectors as park rangers tasked with providing 24-hour protection for breeding colonies.
The plan was to boost the populations of the spot-billed pelican, milky stork, painted stork, lesser adjutant, greater adjutant, black-headed ibis and the Oriental darter.
The waterbird colonies were first discovered in the mid-1990s. At the time, the birds were threatened with extinction because of villagers’ rampant harvesting of eggs and chicks.
But the populations of the birds have increased from a total of 2,500 breeding pairs in 2001 to more than 10,000 pairs in 2007. (AFP)