Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bird-watchers flock to Sam Veasna center




Bird-watchers flock to Sam Veasna center

Bird-watchers flock to Sam Veasna center

Siem Reap – Bird watching initiatives are cropping up in many areas of Cambodia but the most renowned is the Sam Veasna center, which last year received the international Wild Asian Responsible Tourism award. 

The center takes bird watching enthusiasts all over the country to view many of the 24 critically endangered bird species that can be found in Cambodia, including white-winged ducks, painted storks, Sarus Cranes and the meter-high Bengal Florican.

Preah Vihear is home to some key bird watching sites where the Sam Veasna center uses the local communities to provide accommodation, food and guides for their tour groups.

In 2007 – the project’s first year of operation – the 203 families of Tmatboey village, adjacent to the breeding grounds of the elusive Giant Ibis and the white shouldered Ibis of which there are less than 200 pair left in the world, earned $7,000 from tourism services.

"This is a significant injection into an economy where the average wage is between $300 and $350 per year,” said Nick Butler, coordinator of the Sam Veasna center.

"It also provides the community with the incentive to protect these birds rather than hunting them,” he said.

Populations of red-headed, slender-billed, white-rumped vultures are flourishing in Preah Vihear.

"Vulture restaurants” have recently opened for public viewing. These involve cow carcasses left by conservationists to lure vultures so they can observe and monitor vulture numbers from a nearby hide. Through the Sam Veasna center, keen bird watchers can also witness these rare scavengers in action.

MOST VIEWED

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there

  • Cambodia lauded for fight against Covid-19

    Cambodia has drawn global accolades for its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a new report finding that the Kingdom has controlled the pandemic better than any other country in Asia. Dr Takeshi Kasai, director of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Western Pacific region,