Wildlife research and monitoring is a very difficult task and always presents challenges, but due to his commitment and dedication to conservation, Nut Menghor has spent more than 10 years researching key wildlife species in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary, Mondulkiri province, providing important information to protected area managers.
Nut Menghor, age 43, began his career as Wildlife Research Assistant for Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary in 2002, acting as a counter-part between the Forestry Administration (FA) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). His work has not always been easy, as it involves working deep in the forest, with all the many problems this can pose.
“Wildlife research and monitoring requires me to trek and stay in forest. Sometimes, I have to stay in the forest for more than 10 days at a time. It is so difficult, especially during rainy season. I have had malaria many times. But, it has always been worth it, because I love wildlife, nature and would like to see Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary well protected and numbers of key wildlife species increasing,” said Nut Menghor.
With support from WCS and training from senior technical staff, Menghor progressed very well, building confidence in his research work. In 2010, he was promoted to Research Coordinator for Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary and has since led his team to conduct many monitoring sessions, including for species such as yellow-cheeked crested gibbon, black-shanked douc langur, and Asian elephant. In addition, he also contributed in producing Cambodia’s mammal guidebook by providing primate data, participated in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary’s Carbon Stock assessment, and initiated Forest Cleanup Day.
Olly Griffin, a Technical Advisor for WCS, said “Menghor’s contribution to conservation in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary has been extensive, spanning more than a decade, and has included training numerous other staff who will continue his legacy. The data Menghor and his team has collected over the years continues to be used, and is vital for the effective management of one of the most important protected areas in the region.”
Matt Nuttall, who worked with Menghor over several years to conduct line transects across Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary, before moving back to the U.K., said “It was a pleasure and a privilege to work with you and to become your friend. Thanks for looking after me in the forest for so many years!”
“I love wildlife research so much because I can join in conservation and share information about wildlife species in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary with the public in order to make them all aware and protect those wild animals. It can be a difficult job, but I value and appreciate doing it,” said Nut Menghor.
Menghor's experience, passion, and personality will be sorely missed in Mondulkiri, but we all wish him nothing but success and happiness for the future.