The Phsort field monitoring team is ready to collect data on rare species of birds, fish and endangered species in Cambodia at the Stung Sen Ramsar site along the southeastern edge of the Tonle Sap Lake and to alert authorities to any illegal or suspicious activities seen there while doing so.

BirdLife International Cambodia – in collaboration with NatureLife Cambodia and under the financial and technical assistance of the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) – set up a data collection project in the Stung Sen Chap Ramsar Dolphin Area from April to December of this year.

In order to facilitate the effective collection of data through the project, four residents of Phsort were selected for training in field practices and the regular monitoring of biodiversity.

To ensure the Phsort team had the necessary practical knowledge and skills, NatureLife Cambodia organised a short training session on the use of GPS, biodiversity patrol methods and how to write a monthly patrol report to four representatives on May 1.

The Phsort field monitoring team is required to conduct patrols at least twice a month to collect data on rare birds, endangered species, habitat and water conditions.

They must also document any illegal activities taking place and then report them to the rangers of the Stung Sen Ramsar site for further action.

The Phsort team is preparing for an upcoming patrol in May of 2022, when they will visit a number of key locations such as Trong Jruk and Kampong Roteah.

Muong Bunmat of BirdLife International Cambodia and the Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary of Mondulkiri province said that as a project implementer, he thought they did a very good job on setting it up and that it could help preserve wildlife and biodiversity in Cambodia.

“Because every day animals in Cambodia are lost... This project is good for conservation because our country is rich in natural resources and wildlife. But today the destruction of forests by traders or hunters ensure that both forests and animals continue to lose. If conservation is done correctly, it will help animals survive for future generations to see,” he said.

He added that hunters continued to trap animals out of ignorance and were even doing so in the wildlife sanctuaries and it remained a huge risk factor for the loss of entire species.

Cambodia has five Ramsar sites including Koh Kapi, Prek Toal , Stung Sen , Tonle Chhmar and Stung Treng . Ramsar sites are wetlands conservation areas so named because they were established by a 1971 international convention signed in Ramsar, Iran, which Cambodia later signed onto.