Cambodia sets aside land for endangered bird
November 6, 2006
"We applaud the governor for taking this action to protect one of Cambodia's endangered bird species," said WCS Country Director Joe Walston of the organization's Cambodia Program. "This population of Bengal floricans represents the best hope for the entire species, so setting aside critical habitat will give the bird a fighting chance."
The Bengal florican lives on fragments of grassland scattered across Cambodia, Vietnam, Nepal and India, habitats threatened by large-scale agriculture. Researchers at WCS and BirdLife say that thw world's largest population of the birds -- less than 1000 individuals -- exist in the Kampong Thom and Siem Reap provinces of Cambodia.
Credit Allan Michaud/WCS.
Cambodia has one of the highest rates of habitat loss in the world. Since 1970, Cambodia's primary rainforest cover went from over 70 percent in 1970 to 3.1 percent today. Worse, deforestation rates in Cambodia continue to accelerate. The overall rate of total forest loss has jumped nearly 75 percent since the close of the 1990s. In total, Cambodia lost 2.5 million hectares of forest between 1990 and 2005—334,000 hectares of which were primary forest. Today less than 322,000 hectares of primary forest remain.
This article is based on a news release from WCS.
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