Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday told Cambodians to stop hunting and poisoning wild birds, whose populations are already under strain from drought and forest fires.
“Please preserve rare wildlife birds in Cambodia together,” the premier posted on Facebook, saying Cambodia’s exotic birds are not only valuable to the environment but capable of drawing lucrative eco-tourism.
Conservationists last week said that some of the Kingdom’s bird species, which range from vulnerable to critically endangered, are not reproducing this year due to insufficient food, water and habitat loss.
Meanwhile, poaching is up, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society and Wildlife Alliance. Some poachers have resorted to poisoning water sources with pesticides. Last month, four birds killed this way in Stung Treng were found by the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity.
“We have uncovered more evidence that poisoning is frequently occurring in Stung Treng province, with terrible effects for the ecosystem,” said ACCB conservation manager Oliver Gray-Read.
Additional reporting by Igor Kossov