Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NGOs decry vulture decline

NGOs decry vulture decline

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Vultures pick at an animal carcass on the Kingdom’s eastern plains. WCS Cambodia

NGOs decry vulture decline

Vultures in the Kingdom are facing an increasingly high risk of extinction as the birds have shown a 50 per cent decline in numbers since the late 2000s, a joint announcement from environmental organisations said on Saturday, quoting a report.

The report showed that declines have become particularly noticeable across forestlands in the country’s eastern plains, where historically as many as 30 animals were recorded during a single count. Current surveys often top out at 10.

“It is of great concern that only 121 of these majestic birds were recorded in this year’s national census, the lowest number on record since 2003. Recent assessments indicate that poisoning is the major threat to vulture populations in Cambodia,” the report continued.

Officials cited in the document say that the country’s three vulture species, the red-headed, slender-billed and white-rumpled, are all on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list, indicating they are critically endangered.

“Northern Cambodia is the only place in Southeast Asia where vultures can still be found in large numbers. Tourists come to see them at our vulture restaurant at Dong Phlet in Chhep Wildlife Sanctuary.

“But during the past five years, at least 30 vultures have been killed in Cambodia due to widespread indiscriminate use of deadly poisons and pesticides across the country, which is severely impacting the vulture population and also threatening human lives,” said Simon Mahood, a senior technical advisor at the Kingdom’s Wildlife Conservation Society.

He said that besides poisoning, Cambodia’s vultures suffer from habitat loss and food shortages caused by low numbers of wild ungulates (hoofed animals) and domestic cattle.

Increased levels of forest loss, land conversion and poaching as a result of economic land concessions, land encroachment and selective logging have negatively impacted the birds through a loss of nesting sites and reduction in natural prey availability as snaring for wild meat has dramatically increased across Cambodia.

“Results of vulture censuses in the last five years show a worrying trend, as less than 130 birds were counted in 2017 and 2018,” said Bou Vorsak, Cambodia program manager of BirdLife International.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Kingdom’s rice crowned world’s No1

    Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol jasmine variety has been crowned the World’s Best Rice for the fifth time at the TRT (The Rice Trader) World Rice Conference in Phuket, Thailand on November 17, according to leaders of the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body. Phka Rumduol

  • Ministry to 'seek justice' for officials indicted in US for 'monkey smuggling'

    The Cambodian government and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said they will make the “utmost effort” to seek justice for a Cambodian official arrested in John F Kennedy International Airport in New York for allegedly conspiring to smuggle crab-eating macaque monkeys (Macaca fascicularis)

  • Takeo hand-woven silk items provide local high-quality alternative to imports

    After graduating from university and beginning her career as a civil servant at the the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Khieu Sina found time to establish a business that aligns with her true passion – quality hand-woven Khmer goods. Her product line, known as Banteay Srei,