WCS Cambodia

The principal threat to the Bengal Florican is habitat loss. The majority of the world's population of Bengal Floricans live in the grasslands of the Tonle Sap lake, but these grasslands are now declining very rapidly.

In the ten main grassland blocks, 28% of the grasslands were lost in 30 months from 2005 to 2007, and losses have continued at a high rate since then. Most of the loss is due to a recent wave of agricultural conversion by companies and businessmen. Earth dams of 100-1000 ha are built to capture the floodwaters in the rainy season and then irrigate surrounding rice fields in the dry season.

This is quite different from the small-scale dry season rice farming (recession rice) practised by local communities. Local community members are mostly excluded from the new, large-scale schemes and often report that they suffer because they are dispossessed without compensation of the lands they formerly used. There have been widespread protests and complaints. There are also concerns about intensive pesticide use.

In some areas, Bengal Floricans are also suffering from illegal hunting, with chick and egg collectors targeting the species.

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