This week's photo of the week comes from Phnom Pul, in Preah Vihear Province, where two Gaur wild cattle were photographed admiring the view from the top of a mountain. The photos were taken as part of a study investigating populations of wild cattle in the Northern Plains of Cambodia, which is focused on finding signs of the survival of the Kouprey. This survey will also provide valuable data on the distribution of other wild cattle species.
The last known field observations of the Kouprey were made by the explorer Charles Wharton in 1957, all in Preah Vihear province. His studies found the species to be relatively abundant in this region, although it was less abundant than other wild cattle species such as Banteng. Surveys focus on suitable dry season Kouprey habitat, using remote cameras at specific sites including water holes and salt licks in grasslands.
The study is funded by a grant from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund. The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of l'Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation and the World Bank. A fundamental goal is to ensure civil society is engaged in biodiversity conservation.