The World Wildlife Fund for Nature recently captured footage of a herd of banteng – listed as endangered – in Cambodia’s Srepok Wildlife Sanctuary, with the international NGO praising the sighting as a positive sign for a species that is under threat from loss of habit due to illegal logging and mining, among other factors.
The shaky handheld footage, taken by rangers in the field, shows a herd of banteng running through a wooded area, and was recently announced in a post on the Ministry of Environment’s Facebook page.
“WWF-Cambodia is excited to see this herd of banteng,” the post reads. “This is a positive sign for the joint conservation work by the government, WWF-Cambodia and conservation partners.”
Cambodia has the biggest population of banteng – Bos javanicus – in the world, but they are endangered, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of threatened species.
The IUCN estimates that the global population of banteng stands at around 8,000. In Cambodia, the population decreased by some 90 percent between the late 1960s and early 1990s to around 4,600 today.
Research published earlier this month in the Royal Society Open Science journal revealed that banteng were the overall main prey for the last remaining Indochinese leopards in eastern Cambodia.
Researchers concluded that the finding makes the animals the only known leopard population whose main prey had an adult weight greater than 500 kilograms.
See the footage via the WWF-Cambodia Facebook page: