When most people think of Cambodia, they think of Angkor Wat and ignore the country’s diverse flora and fauna. Though the “Land of the Khmer” is known for its spiritual wonders, it is also a place for natural wonders such as the mighty Mekong River, miles of untouched beaches, and tropical rainforests and jungles.
Cambodia is home to a diverse range of species, from mountains to valleys, waterfalls to rivers and lakes. There are 212 mammal and animal species found there, including Asian elephants, Indochinese tigers, clouded leopards, and Asian golden cats, as well as wild dogs like the dhole and bears like the Malayan sun bear, to name a few.
Related post: Guide to Wild Animals in Cambodia
Cambodia is also a home to 536 different bird species, including the endangered Sarus Crane, parrots, pheasants, and wild ducks. Over 850 freshwater fish species live in the Tonle Sap Lake basin, while Cambodia has over 435 marine species. Since much of this species is endangered, several organizations have been established throughout the world with the aim of educating the public about how to protect and preserve Cambodia’s incredible natural and wildlife resources.
Related post: Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center
The Tonle Sap Biosphere is a distinctive ecological phenomenon that encompasses the great Tonle Sap Lake as well as nine provinces in Cambodia. Its three key objectives are to preserve the area’s biodiversity, promote environmental sustainability, and provide teacher preparation and research opportunities. In 1997, the region was nominated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
The Central Cardamoms Protected Forest is one of Southeast Asia’s largest and least-explored forests. A third of the land is covered, and the Global Conservation Fund works on the ground to provide urgent safeguards against illegal logging and hunting. Around 100 rodents are believed to live in the park, which is surrounded by mountains that are home to 62 globally endangered animals and 17 globally threatened tree species. It is also home to Cambodia’s largest herd of Asian elephants (possibly the whole of Indochina).
Related post: A Guide to Visit Cardamom Mountain
Osmose is a non-profit conservation project in Prek Toal’s three floating villages. This effort is critical to the protection of a number of vulnerable water birds. The aim is to relate the conservation of birds to the growth of local communities in a sustainable way. About 130 families have benefited from Osmose, and as a result, seven birds have been saved from extinction.
“The projects listed above are only a small part of the incredible conservation work that is currently taking place in Cambodia.”