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Location Cambodia, Preah Vihear,Stung Treng
Central coordinates 105o 30.00' East  14o 4.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A3, A4i
Area 243,661 ha
Altitude 35 - 767m
Year of IBA assessment 2003

BirdLife Indochina Programme (Country programme)



Site description The IBA is located in the northern plains of Cambodia, and is centred on the recently decreed Forest Reserve for Conservation of Genetic Diversity, Vegetation and Wildlife Resources in Chhep and Chom Khsan districts. The vegetation of the IBA is characterised by a complex mosaic of habitats, determined by soil quality, proximity to water and topography. Poorer, sandy soils, support a variety of open deciduous dipterocarp forest types, often dominated by only a few species, that characterizes this landscape. Richer, alluvial soils, often near watercourses, support more species-rich forest, dominated by tall, mature dipterocarps, with multiple canopy layers shading a complex herbaceous understorey. Extensive grasslands and seasonal meadows form a patchwork within the open deciduous dipterocarp forest that is unique to the area, and is arguably one of the richest remaining grasslands in the whole of Asia. To the north, the IBA is contiguous with areas of similar natural habitat in Laos.The IBA supports one of the most intact remaining examples of the bird community of the dry forests of central Indochina. The IBA supports a large number of globally threatened and near-threatened bird species, including Green Peafowl Pavo muticus, White-winged Duck Cairina scutulata, Sarus Crane Grus antigone, White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis, Long-billed Vulture G. indicus, Red-headed Vulture Sarcogyps calvus, Greater Adjutant Leptoptilos dubius, Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus and Black-necked Stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus. Most notably, the IBA supports one of the largest remaining populations of Giant Ibis Pseudibis gigantea in the world. In addition it supports small numbers of wintering Manchurian Reed Warbler Acrocephalus tangorum.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Green Peafowl Pavo muticus resident  2001  common [units unknown]  A1, A3  Endangered 
White-winged Duck Cairina scutulata resident  2001  rare [units unknown]  A1  Endangered 
Greater Adjutant Leptoptilos dubius unknown  2001  rare [units unknown]  A1  Endangered 
Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus unknown  2001  common [units unknown]  A1, A4i  Vulnerable 
Black-necked Stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus unknown  2001  rare [units unknown]  A4i  Near Threatened 
Giant Ibis Thaumatibis gigantea resident  2001  common [units unknown]  A1, A4i  Critically Endangered 
White-rumped Falcon Polihierax insignis resident  2001  uncommon [units unknown]  A3  Near Threatened 
Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga resident  2001  common [units unknown]  A1  Vulnerable 
White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis resident  2001  unknown [units unknown]  A1, A3  Critically Endangered 
Red-headed Vulture Sarcogyps calvus resident  2001  unknown [units unknown]  A3  Critically Endangered 
Slender-billed Vulture Gyps tenuirostris unknown  2001  present [units unknown]  A1, A3  Critically Endangered 
Rufous-winged Buzzard Butastur liventer resident  2001  common [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Sarus Crane Grus antigone resident  2001  common [units unknown]  A1  Vulnerable 
Yellow-footed Green-pigeon Treron phoenicopterus unknown  2001  uncommon [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Indian Nightjar Caprimulgus asiaticus resident  2001  common [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Green-eared Barbet Megalaima faiostricta resident  2001  common [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Black-headed Woodpecker Picus erythropygius resident  2001  common [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Indochinese Cuckooshrike Coracina polioptera resident  2001  common [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Brown-rumped Minivet Pericrocotus cantonensis resident  2001  unknown [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Brown Prinia Prinia polychroa resident  2001  common [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Sooty-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus aurigaster resident  2001  common [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Streak-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus blanfordi resident  2001  common [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-eyed Bulbul Iole propinqua resident  2001  common [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Manchurian Reed-warbler Acrocephalus tangorum unknown  2001  rare [units unknown]  A1  Vulnerable 
Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush Garrulax monileger resident  2001  common [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Golden-crested Myna Ampeliceps coronatus resident  2001  common [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-tailed Starling Sturnus malabaricus resident  2001  common [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Vinous-breasted Starling Sturnus burmannicus resident  2001  common [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Preah Vihear Protected Forest 190,028 protected area overlaps with site 156,700  
Preah Vihear Temple Protected Landscape 4,082 protected area overlaps with site 5,000  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Dry deciduous forest (tropical); Lowland evergreen rain forest (tropical); Semi-evergreen rain forest (tropical)  major
Shrubland Secondary scrub  minor
Grassland Edaphic grassland  minor
Wetlands (inland) Ephemeral wetlands; Freshwater lakes and pools; Riverine floodplains; Rivers and streams  minor
Artificial - terrestrial Perennial crops, orchards and groves; Rice paddies; Small settlements, rural gardens  minor

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
forestry -
military -
nature conservation and research -
other -
Notes: small settlements

Other biodiversity Red listed mammals occuring (all from Prum Sovanna, mammal list in Preah Vihea province): Asian Elephant, Leopard, Guar, Banteng, Eld's Deer, Dhole, Tiger.Long-tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis), Pig-tailed Macaque (Macaca nemestrina ), Slow Loris (Nycticebus coucang).Asiatic Softshell Turtle (Amyda cartilaginea), Elongated Tortoise (Indotestudo elongata), Yellow-headed Temple Turtle (Hieremys annandalii), Giant Asian Pond Turtle (Heosemys grandis), Malayan Box Turtle (Cuora ambionensis).Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus), Banteng (Bos javanicus), Gaur (Bos gaurus), Eld's Deer (Cervus eldii).

Protection status Overlaps with Preah Vihear Protected Forest (156700ha)

Further web sources of information 

Site account from Directory of Important Bird Areas in Cambodia: key sites for conservation (Seng Kim Hout 2003)

References Barzen, J. (2002) Waterbirds and Wetlands of Northern Cambodia. Bugle.Barzen, J. (2002) Waterbirds and Wetlands of Northern Cambodia. Cambodia Bird News 9:36-38.Davidson, P. (2001) A further twelve new species for Cambodia. Cambodia Bird News 7: 26-35Davidson, P., Poole, C.M. and Walston, J. (2001). Cambodia's Northern Plains: heartland of the Giant Ibis. World Birdwatch 23 (4): 15-19.Prum Sovanna (2001) Mammal list from Preah Vihear Province. Unpublished report, Wildlife Conservation Society, Cambodia.Goes, F. (2001). L'Ibis Géant, un oiseau légendaire et misanthrope. Cambodia Bird News 7: 2-6.Goes, F. and Davidson, P. (eds.) (2001) Recent Sightings. Cambodia Bird News 7: 38-45.Goes, F. and Davidson, P. (eds.) (2002) Recent Sightings. Cambodia Bird News 9: 47-59.Tan Setha (2001) Bird checklist from Preah Vihear Province. Unpublished report, Wildlife Conservation Society, Cambodia.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Chhep. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/04/2014

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