Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Two rare tree species identified in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary

Two rare tree species identified in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Machilus cambodiana and Machilus seimensis species – named after the location where they were found – were discovered by a group of Cambodian and Japanese botanists. WCS Cambodia

Two rare tree species identified in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary

Two rare tree species believed to be endangered were discovered in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary in the northeastern provinces of Mondulkiri and Kratie, according to an announcement released by the Wildlife Conservation Society in Cambodia (WCS Cambodia) on November 17.

The Machilus cambodiana and Machilus seimensis species – named after the location where they were found – were discovered by a group of Cambodian and Japanese botanists.

The WCS said: “Even though the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) did not include these two new trees on its red list yet, researchers believe they are endangered. Numbers of these two trees are low in dense forests. Researchers found only two of these kinds of trees during their research.”

Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary is known to shelter more than 260 species of small plants and trees, 20 of which are endangered globally. There are 53 types of trees in the sanctuary which produce luxury wood or first, second or third-grade timber, according to the Forestry Administration.

Researchers also found new plant and tree species at Phnom Bokor National Park in Kampot province and the Central Cardamom Wildlife Sanctuary.

WCS country director Ken Serey Rotha told The Post that to protect the two rare species, the WCS will encourage its staff to study and monitor them while continuing to perform their duties in the main locations of its development plan.

“It is unknown at this time what they [the WCS staff] will do after they leave their posts. As a first step, we need to protect and preserve these trees [and plants] well so that the next generation can study them,” he said.

Chhang Phourin, deputy director of the Institute of Forest and Wildlife Research and Development (IRD), said he had studied the two rare species with Japanese botanist Tetsukazu Yahara. He told The Post on November 17 that research into Cambodia’s forests began in 2009 and the two rare species were first observed in 2011 and 2015, although they were only recently properly identified after years of analysis.

“Machilus cambodiana and Machilus seimensis are types of medicinal plants. They are similar to the Tep Piro plant and the Mreah Prov Phnom plant,” he said.

Phourin added that Machilus plants have also been found in Phnom Bokor National Park and the Central Cardamom Wildlife Sanctuary in Cambodia and they exist in Southern Vietnam and Thailand as well.

“If there was no Covid-19, Tetsukazu Yahara would cooperate with us to further research new plants and trees,” he said.

Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra expressed great enthusiasm and said Cambodia welcomes cooperation in research into plant and tree species, wild animals and biodiversities in wildlife sanctuaries and multiple use areas in the country.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • 11th Chaktomuk Short Film Festival draws to close

    Cambodia's 11th Chaktomuk Short Film Festival wrapped up successfully on November 28 after a four-day run, with the film “Voice of the Night” awarded top prize for 2022. Sum Sithen, the organiser of the short film festival, told The Post that the number of attendees to the