PHNOM PENH – Experts from Kyoto University and the Wildlife Conservation Society have conducted a camera trap survey that detected a multitude of large mammal species in a protected area of northern Cambodia, the WSC said Thursday.
“The results confirm the continued occurrence of large mammals such as Eld’s deer, banteng (an endangered species of wild cattle), elephants and jungle cats in the CWS,” said Ai Suzuki of the Japanese university, referring to the 1,900-sq.-km Chhep Wildlife Sanctuary in Preah Vihear Province, bordering Thailand and Laos.
Suzuki, the lead author of the study, said it “highlights the global significance of CWS for conservation of mammal assemblages in a lowland deciduous dipterocarp dominated landscape, a forest-type underrepresented as protected area in mainland Southeast Asia.”
Among the species photographed were the critically endangered Sunda pangolin; two bear species; four civet species, including the endangered large-spotted civet; two mongoose species; the dhole, an endangered species of wild dog; and the gaur, a wild cattle species.
Besides the leopard, whose populations have declined severely across Indochina due in part to hunting, the presence of three medium or small cat species was recorded at the sanctuary, but there were unfortunately no tigers, according to the report.
Although there are historical records of tigers in Cambodia’s northern plains, including documentation showing at least 34 were killed as recently as 1998, the iconic cat species is “likely to have been extirpated” at CWS, it said.
The report was published in the latest issue of the Cambodian Journal of Natural History.
The journal carried another camera-trap study report concluding that both tigers and leopards have likely been extirpated in the Cardamom Rainforest Landscape, which covers 17,000 square km of protected areas in southwestern Cambodia.