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North Kampong Speu forestry community’s toils yield fruit

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Wild oxen were found at the Prambei Mom community forest in Kampong Speu province in 2021. PRAMBEI MOM FOREST COMMUNITY

North Kampong Speu forestry community’s toils yield fruit

Forestry Administration officials retrieved seven motion-activated camera traps for wildlife research that were installed within the territory under the purview of the Prambei Mom forestry community in northern Kampong Speu province.

The seven cameras were set up to collect images and data to compile into a research article on biodiversity in the area – located in Trapaing Kroeunh village of northern Thpong district’s Prambei Mom commune, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said in its 2021 achievements and 2022 goals report.

The officials also installed 12 new camera traps in a number of locations to capture images of wildlife with as little human interference as possible, and monitor the occurrence of species and potential threats.

The ministry indicated that one such location was on part of the Cardamom Mountain range in Koh Kong province, to keep tabs on elephants across the landscape.

Keo Omaliss, head of the Forestry Administration, under the ministry, told The Post that the Prambei Mom forestry community, much like its peers in other areas, bends over backwards to adapt and improve itself.

The administration has bolstered the community in its efforts for many years, paving the way for its formal establishment, helping set up its headquarters, and mobilising support from the private sector, he said.

“The people there are marvellous. They give it their all. And when they’re doing their utmost, we’re there to help. I want to put them on solid footing, and see them turn into a role model, no less,” Omaliss said.

The Prambei Mom forestry community covers an 862ha area with some relatively rare wildlife species such as muntjacs, wild boars, peacocks and banteng.

Member Liv Sarum estimated that there are about 140 bantengs left in the area under the community’s domain, noting that five-to-10 new calves were reported last year.

Poaching and trapping remain major headaches for the community, he said, adding that hundreds of snares are found and dismantled each year.

A total of 536 forest communities are recognised by the ministry as of 2021, which monitor more than 4,000sq km, according to the ministry.

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