Conservation Problem

SOS grantee, Wildlife Conservation Society - WCS Cambodia - has been working in the Northern Plains of Cambodia, for over ten years. The region's forests are disappearing at an alarming rate to make way for sugar cane and rubber plantations. This, and small-scale hunting threaten some of Southeast Asia’s most charismatic birds.

These include the Giant Ibis, with its bald, prehistoric-looking head, is found nowhere else on earth. The White-shouldered Ibis is almost as rare, but much more tolerant of people. Populations have been increasing around one of the villages where the SOS grantees, WCS, now work. Also threatened are two secretive denizens of slow-flowing streams, the Masked Finfoot and the White-winged Duck. These birds are easy to hunt and thus restricted to the most remote locations. Three species of vulture, all Critically Endangered, also inhabit this wilderness.




Project Activities

In partnership with two local civil society Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) - Sam Veasna Centre and Sansom Mlup Preywill, the project team will reduce hunting and forest loss by increasing local community participation in species conservation in three ways.

The simplest, the Birds Nest Protection Scheme, makes payments to local people who successfully protect nests of threatened birds. In 2011-2012, 830 chicks were fledged from 397 protected nests under this scheme.

The project will also promote improved land-use planning at key sites through the expansion of the Ibis Rice ‘Wildlife-friendly’ initiative. Under this programme, rice is purchased at a premium to farming families adhering to conservation agreements.

Finally, the project will work to develop eco-tourism by training local volunteers in tourism hospitality, providing critical equipment such as binoculars, developing eco-tourism activities and helping attract visitors.

Conservation Outcomes

Populations of threatened birds are expected to increase around villages that are taking part in ecotourism, Ibis Rice or the Birds Nest Protection Scheme. The project team will monitor bird populations annually and check habitat trends using satellite images.

  • Adjutant, Cambodia, Birds
    Greater Adjutant in flight.
  • Wetland, Cambodia
    Ang Trapeang Thmor wetland
  • Green Peafowl
    Green Peafowl
SOS - Save Our Species
>> A global coalition to conserve threatened species and their habitats