By Mengey Eng
| May 04, 2017
A research team consisting of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Ministry of Environment (MoE) has successfully completed the annual population survey of Bengal Florican at the Tonle Sap Floodplain Protected Landscape in Kampong Thom and Siem Reap Provinces.
Bengal Florican (Houbaropsis bengalensis) is listed on IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered, with a global population of fewer than 800 individuals. Cambodia is the most important country worldwide for Bengal Florican conservation with an estimated 432 Bengal Floricans nationwide in 2012. WCS support the Ministry of Environment to prevent the extinction of Bengal Florican in Cambodia, through community-based conservation of grassland and agricultural areas.
This two-month survey from March to April is conducted annually to monitor Bengal Floricans at seven sites that taken together supported 80% of Cambodia’s Bengal Florican population in 2012. The sites include the Northern Tonle Sap Conservation Landscape, a protected area supporting over 100 Bengal Floricans where WCS and MoE have been working together for more than ten years, and a number of unprotected sites that still support the species.
The results from the 2017 survey are not yet available. They will be used to monitor the impact of conservation activities on Bengal Florican populations, and refine conservation measures that aim to save the species from extinction.
Conservation of Bengal Florican would not be possible without the support of the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, Foundation Ensemble, Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.