Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sixty endangered bird species seen flocking to Kingdom wetland areas

Sixty endangered bird species seen flocking to Kingdom wetland areas

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Over 60 pelicans were recorded at the Stung Sen Ramsar site in Kampong Thom province. BIRDLIFE CAMBODIA

Sixty endangered bird species seen flocking to Kingdom wetland areas

The Kampong Thom provincial Department of Environment and BirdLife Cambodia have recorded the presence of more than 60 endangered species in the Stung Sen “Ramsar site” and the Boeung Chhma core area within the Tonle Sap biosphere reserve in Kampong Thom province.

Ramsar sites are protected areas designated as such in accordance with the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands – an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands that was originally negotiated and signed in Ramsar, Iran, back in 1971.

“We see that more than 60 species of birds came to feed in the Stung Sen Ramsar site and Boeung Chhma area. This is due to increased law enforcement and regular patrols by our rangers,” said provincial environment department director Tob Kakada on September 9.

According to Kakada, the Boeung Chhma core area covers more than 28,000ha and the Stung Sen Ramsar site covers 18,000 ha, with just 12 rangers patrolling this vast area.

He said that previously when the rainy season began, poachers set traps and poisoned the birds, but in recent years the number of birds has increased significantly, including species that had never been present in this area before but are now finding refuge there, thanks to access restrictions and enforcement activities against lawbreakers.

Bou Vorsak, Cambodia programme manager at BirdLife International, told The Post on September 9 that rangers patrolled these areas every week and recorded 60 species under threat including darters, grey-headed fish eagles, spot-billed pelicans, lesser adjutant storks and painted storks.

“After we threw our support behind this plan, the rangers began making a weekly patrol. We’ve also supported communities in establishing natural protected areas and assisting them with managing biodiversity in their areas,” he said.

He added that NatureLife Cambodia – a national conservation organisation established with technical support from BirdLife International and financial support from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund through the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – has been working at the Stung Sen Ramsar site and Boeung Chhma core area since 2018.

BirdLife International has also assisted with improving the capacity of rangers and their ability to patrol and monitor the situations at these sites.

Bou Vorsak said the Ramsar site is an important habitat for birds and fish because it is a large-scale flooded forest wetlands area. At the beginning of each rainy season, many species of birds such as grey-headed fish eagles will migrate to the site to forage for food. When the water recedes, they then migrate elsewhere for the same purposes.

MOST VIEWED

  • WHO: Covid in Cambodia goes into new phase

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia said that Cambodia has reached a new phase of the pandemic with “decreasing case numbers, high vaccination coverage and a more transmissible circulating variant threatening a hidden surge”. In a press release on September 6, the WHO said that

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • 'Pursue your goals, reach out to me': Young diplomat tapped as envoy to South Korea

    Chring Botum Rangsay was a secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation before being designated as the new Cambodian ambassador to South Korea. According to her official CV published on the foreign ministry’s website, she started her first government

  • School reopening ‘offers model for other sectors’

    World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Cambodia Li Ailan said school reopening process should be used as a role model for reopening other sectors currently mothballed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Li strongly supports the government’s decision to reopen schools, saying it is a decision

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.

  • Covid jab drive for 6-11 age group to begin Sept 17

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has permitted Covid-19 vaccinations for over 1.8 million children aged 6-11 across the country from September 17 in order for them to return to school after a long hiatus. Hun Sen also hinted that vaccinations for the 3-6 age group will follow in