A total of 119 vultures of three species have been recorded in four natural protected areas in Cambodia, announced yesterday H.E. Neth Pheaktra, Secretary of State and Spokesperson of the Ministry of Environment by quoting the result of a nationwide vulture census.
Of them, there are 11 red-headed vultures (Sarcogyps calvus), 71 white-rumped vultures (Gyps bengalensis), and 37 slender-billed vultures (Gyps tenuirostris), said the spokesperson, continuing that the newly-recorded figure shows a decrease by 18 individuals compared to the 2019 census.
The census was conducted at the four natural protected areas in Preah Vihear, Stung Treng, Mondulkiri, and Kratie provinces on June 10 by Cambodia Vulture Working Group (CVWG) in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, BirdLife International, World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB), and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).
According to H.E. Neth Pheaktra, Siem Pang Wildlife Sanctuary in Stung Treng and Chhep Wildlife Sanctuary in Preah Vihear have the highest vulture population with 81 and 34 individuals, respectively.
“Vulture census is very vital for us to know the exact number of vultures in Cambodia and the evolution around them,” underlined the spokesperson.
All vulture species in the Kingdom are protected under the Cambodian law. Last year, the Royal Government banned the veterinary sale and use of diclofenac (whilst harmless to cattle and other livestock, results in death of vultures if they feed on a carcass of an animal previously treated with this drug) in the country in order to safeguard the remaining Cambodian vulture population.
Despite conservation efforts of the Royal Government and its partner organisations, Cambodia’s vultures are facing an increasingly high risk of extinction, said H.E. Neth Pheaktra, adding that poisoning, habitat loss, hunting, food shortage, poaching and trapping are the main reasons for their decline.
H.E. Neth Pheaktra affirmed that the ministry has worked with the WCS in nurturing egg nests, and educating people to protect the birds.
Source: Agency Kampuchea Press