A book describing the birds at Boeung Prek Lapouv (BPL) Protected Landscape in Takeo province – featuring pictures of and information on 86 species of birds – has been compiled and published to encourage the public, especially the youth, to understand, protect and conserve these unique species.
It is the first publication by NatureLife Cambodia – a conservation organisation established with support from BirdLife International and financial support from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund – and was drafted in collaboration with the provincial Department of Environment to showcase the abundance of bird species in the area to the general public, school students around BPL, researchers, tourists, and policy-makers.
Department director Choy Munly told The Post on May 2 that this book was the output of a photographer who was also a ranger, and the authors were young Khmer researchers. It was important for researchers to contribute to improving the knowledge of readers of all ages, he said.
“This is a very important book that will help the children – of this generation and the next – to know and understand the precious birds, natural resources, and biodiversity of the protected landscape. It will inspire them to know and love the animals in our country and help them to protect the birds,” he said.
He said the books are being stored in the library of the environment department, but will be distributed by schools and pagodas.
Munly added that in recent years the people living around the BPL had become more aware of the importance of protecting and conserving the bird population.
“We regularly run programmes to bring together students and members of local communities to educate them on the importance of these birds. Three or four years ago, they came to fish and they used to hunt or steal eggs, but they don’t do it anymore,” he said.
The book shows photographs of bird species, along with key information related to their distribution, the time of year they can be observed at the site, a basic identification guide, and the conservation status of each species – such as Least Concern (LC), Near Threatened (NT), Vulnerable (VU), Endangered (EN) or Critically Endangered (CR).
BirdLife International Cambodia said the book presented species that have been observed by the monitoring team of NatureLife Cambodia and rangers in the last 15 years.
Lim Vath, deputy director of the protected landscape, said the book is an important tool that explains the biodiversity value of the wetland.
“It will enhance the participation of stakeholders in protecting and conserving Boeung Prek Lapouv, and hopefully ensure the continuing presence of all of our bird species,” he said.
“It is a guidebook for bird watchers, and it is also a biodiversity monitoring report that can be used to support the development of the site conservation and management plan,” said Bou Vorsak, Cambodia programme manager of BirdLife International.