Waterbirds & Ecotourism

Ibis in the Northern Plains and the waterbirds at the Prek Toal Core Area of the Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve are amongst the most threatened bird species in the world, and consequently there is considerable tourism interest from international bird-watchers and naturalists.

In response to this demand, WCS established the Tmatboey Ibis Ecotourism Project in Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary in the Northern Plains in 2005. The project aims to conserve the globally threatened large waterbirds found at Tmatboey village, using the ibises as 'flagships', through establishing a local community-based tourism enterprise that directly links revenue received to long-term species conservation. Tourism has been expanded in the Northern Plains in 2009 for visitors wishing to see vultures and White-winged Ducks at O Koki in Preah Vihear Protected Forest.

Ecotourism is also underway at Prek Toal, where visitors can use the ranger platforms to observe the waterbird breeding colonies. Visitors pay an entry fee to Ministry of Environment staff who are responsible for the management of the Core Area, with funds used to support the ranger teams and local communities that protect the area.


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