Cambodia: birds: Bengal florican

Bengal florican

From BirdLife:

First comprehensive florican survey


Between 20 March and 13 May 2006, a comprehensive survey for Bengal Florican and other grassland bird species was jointly conducted by BirdLife and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in provinces surrounding the Tonle Sap lake, Cambodia.

Information gained during the survey will be a foundation for locating critical habitats for the species in Cambodia.

Bengal Floricans Eupodotis bengalensis are found only in India, Nepal, Vietnam and Cambodia.

They are listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List and face a very high risk of extinction in the medium term future.

Cambodia is suspected to hold the largest surviving population.

This first comprehensive survey for Bengal Florican and grassland habitat around the Tonle Sap has demonstrated rapid grassland loss due to agricultural expansion, particularly in Kompong Thom and Siem Reap provinces.

This highlights the importance of safeguarding remaining grassland areas.

New florican populations were discovered during the survey but they were all smaller than those at previously known sites in Kompong Thom province.

However the presence of Bengal Florican, albeit at lower densities, in three grassland blocks in Banteay Meanchey and Battambang and an additional area in Seam Reap suggests survey, educational and habitat protection work should be initiated in these areas.

A crude estimate, to be subsequently refined, puts the Cambodian Bengal Florican population at between 700 and 900 individuals.

Update: here.

5 thoughts on “Cambodia: birds: Bengal florican

  1. Cambodia moves to save rare grassland bird
    5:53AM 7 November 2006

    PHNOM PENH (Reuters) – Cambodia has set aside a large area of land to save from extinction fewer than 100 Bengal Floricans, believed to be the world’s largest remaining group of the grassland bird, a provincial governor said on Tuesday.

    The network of protected areas cover more than 100 sq miles near Tonle Sap, home to thousands of waterfowl and birds during the wet season when it swells into one of the largest freshwater lakes in Asia.

    “This is a rare bird and if we fail to protect them, they will soon become extinct,” Nam Tum, governor of the eastern province of Kampong Thom where the birds live, told Reuters.

    The large bustards, mostly black in color with white wings, are threatened by the loss of their habitat due to industrial-scale farming, he said.

    The Bengal Florican is restricted to tiny fragments of grasslands scattered across Cambodia, Vietnam, Nepal and India where fewer than 1,000 birds live.

    Nam Tum said banners would be put up in the area and farmers educated not to kill the birds, listed as endangered on a “Red List” compiled by the conservation body IUCN.

    Joe Walston, the World Conservation Society’s country representative, said Cambodia’s decision gave the species a fighting chance at survival.

    “This population of Bengal Floricans represents the best hope for the entire species,” Walston said in a statement.


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