Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Plan adopted to prevent Kingdom’s Asian elephants from extinction

Plan adopted to prevent Kingdom’s Asian elephants from extinction

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Between 400 and 600 of Asian elephants are believed to remain in Cambodia, mainly in the Cardamom Mountains. FFI

Plan adopted to prevent Kingdom’s Asian elephants from extinction

The Ministry of Environment, in collaboration with Fauna & Flora International (FFI), has adopted an action plan to save Asian elephants in Cambodia from extinction.

The conservation plan was compiled by the ministry’s General Directorate of Administration for Nature Conservation and Protection (GDANCP) and all stakeholders with technical support from the FFI’s Cambodian Elephant Conservation Group (CECG).

Established in 2015 by the FFI in cooperation with the ministry and the Forestry Administration, the CECG aims to conserve the endangered species by stabilising and increasing its populations throughout Cambodia.

GDANCP director-general Meas Sophal said the action plan is a significant milestone.

“We developed this action plan, the first for Asian elephants in Cambodia, that will guide effective protection of the country’s most iconic species,” he said.

Classified as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, Asian elephants face a “very high risk” of extinction.

Between 400 and 600 of them are believed to remain in Cambodia and are concentrated mainly in the Cardamom Mountains in the southwest of the country and the eastern plains of Mondulkiri province.

A smaller number of the species can also be found in other parts of the Kingdom, such as the northern plains.

The IUCN said the areas are known for their rich biodiversity, which is ideal for the elephants and other endangered species. However, it said habitat degradation due to deforestation has taken a toll on elephant populations and their long-term survival.

Elephant calves have also fallen victim to snares, which hinder population recovery.

Sophal said the action plan is vital to safeguarding the “cultural heritage icon” for future generations.

“The action plan aims to strengthen the management of Asian elephants with involvement from all stakeholders so that their populations are protected and able to recover, not least in the protected area and biodiversity conservation corridor network, which covers 7.2 million hectares, or 42 per cent, of the country’s surface,” he said.

Asian elephants can reach 6.4m in length and 3m at the shoulder. They weigh up to five tonnes.

They are smaller than African elephants and have a single “finger” on the upper lips of their trunks, while African elephants have a second one on the lower lip, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Knockout! Kun Khmer replaces ‘Muay’ for Phnom Penh Games

    Cambodia has decided to officially remove the word Muay from the programme of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 in May. “Kun Khmer” will instead be used to represent the Southeast Asian sport of kickboxing, in accordance with the wishes of the Cambodian people. Vath

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • New int’l airport nearly half complete as travel industry returns to life

    Construction of a new airport that is slated to serve the capital has passed the 43 per cent completion mark, raising prospects for a proper recovery in the civil aviation and tourism sectors as international travellers return to the Kingdom in increasingly large numbers. The figure

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,