Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Population of vultures on the decline, census shows



Population of vultures on the decline, census shows

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Last year’s census showed that Cambodia is home to three species of vultures with a total population of 137. The number has decreased to 119 this year. Heng Chivoan

Population of vultures on the decline, census shows

The Ministry of Environment joined the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) on Wednesday to conduct an annual census of vultures in five areas in Stung Treng, Mondulkiri, Ratanakkiri and Preah Vihear provinces.

Ministry secretary of state and spokesperson Neth Pheaktra told The Post on Thursday that the team mostly visited wildlife sanctuaries in the provinces, as well as feeding grounds where staffers attract vultures with a meal to be able to count them.
The team noticed a considerable decrease in its population compared to last year.

Pheaktra said last year’s census showed that Cambodia is home to three species of vultures with a total population of 137. The number has decreased to 119 this year.

He said the Siem Pang Wildlife Sanctuary in Stung Treng province and the Chheb Wildlife Sanctuary in Preah Vihear had the most vultures.

Pheaktra on Wednesday also attended the annual opening ceremony of the census at the Dong Phlet forest community in the Chheb Wildlife Sanctuary in Preah Vihear province. Provincial authorities, officials from the USAID Greening Prey Lang Project and ministry experts also attended the ceremony.

WCS country director Ken Serey Rotha said that in the province, his team noticed a considerable rise in the vulture population.

At a feeding ground in the Chheb sanctuary, he said 34 vultures descended to feed on a dead cow that had been offered by WCS and Greening Prey Lang Project staffers. In December last year, 44 vultures had feasted on a similar meal at the same location.

“It was good news that morning when we observed them,” he said.

He said the growth was a result of joint patrols between communities and environmental rangers tasked with protecting the vultures.

“We were lucky to find some vulture nests, which we can now protect. In the past, sometimes we weren’t able to find any nests.

“Community members looking for Orchid flowers or mushrooms would sometimes come across them and disturb them, causing the potential loss of eggs. This year, we feel lucky to be able to protect them,” he said.

Pheaktra said the ministry and the WCS actively protect the vultures’ nests and provide them with food as part of their conservation efforts.

“Vultures are a rare species and at great risk of extinction throughout the world. The number of vultures declines every year at an alarming level, even though the Ministry of Environment has collaborated with various partner organizations to try to protect and conserve them,” he said.

He called on all citizens to assist in the efforts by stopping poaching or trading wild animals.

He said vultures are docile and help clean the environment by eating other animals’ carcasses.

“[The conservation of vultures] is valuable for biodiversity, attracting tourists for natural tourism, creating jobs and generating income for citizens,” he said.

Watch video:

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • PM asks India for vaccine help

    Prime Minister Hun Sen is seeking assistance from India for the provision of Covid-19 vaccines as the country has produced its own vaccine which is scheduled to be rolled out to more than 300 million Indians this year. The request was made during his meeting with

  • One million Chinese Covid-19 jabs to start rolling in from February

    The government has confirmed that Covid-19 vaccines from China are set to begin arriving in Cambodia by February. This came as the Ministry of Health recorded two imported cases of Covid-19 on January 18. While calling on people to remain vigilant against the pandemic, ministry spokeswoman