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Location Cambodia, Kandal,Phnom Penh
Central coordinates 104o 50.00' East  11o 39.00' North
IBA criteria A1
Area 2,770 ha
Altitude 4 - 10m
Year of IBA assessment 2003

BirdLife Indochina Programme (BirdLife Direct Action Programme)

Site description The IBA comprises of Basset Marsh, a permanent lake located along Road No. 5, about 12 km north of Phnom Penh. The areas surrounding the lake become inundated when the Tonle Sap River floods during the wet season, and thus support extensive marshes. These marshes are surrounded by agricultural land, mainly riceSmall numbers of Spot-billed Pelicans Pelecanus philippensis are regular in the wet season and Darters Anhinga melanogaster are also regular. The IBA is the only known site thus far in Cambodia where River Tern Sterna aurantia has been recorded away from the upper Mekong in the wet season. Grey-headed Fish Eagle Icthyophaga ichthyaetus has also been recorded once and is probably no more than an irregular visitor. Due to its proximity to Phnom Penh and easy access, the IBA has great potential for conservation awareness and education programmes.

Key Biodiversity Other regionally significant species were also recorded from the the site such as Asian Openbill, Glossy Ibis, River Tern, Baya Weaver, Collared Kingfisher and Grey-headed Lapwing.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis non-breeding  2002  common  A1  Near Threatened 

IBA Monitoring

2009 high unfavourable negligible
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Biological resource use fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - small dams happening now some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low

Wetlands (inland) Freshwater lakes and pools  0 0 good (> 90%) poor (40-69%) unfavourable

Some of site covered (10-49%)  No management planning has taken place  Very little or no conservation action taking place  negligible 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Secondary scrub  -
Wetlands (inland) Ephemeral wetlands; Freshwater lakes and pools; Permanent swamps; Rivers and streams  -
Artificial - terrestrial Perennial crops, orchards and groves; Rice paddies; Small settlements, rural gardens  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
fisheries/aquaculture -
urban/industrial/transport -
Notes: small settlement

Further web sources of information 

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

References Document nameDuckworth, J. W. and Hedges, S. 1998. Bird records from Cambodia in 1997, including records of sixteen species new for the country. Forktail 14: 29-36.Goes, F. (1999) Les marais de la plaine des quatre bras. Cambodia Bird News 3: 44-51.Goes, F. (ed.) (1999) Recent Sightings. Cambodia Bird News 3: 39-43Goes, F. and Davidson, P. (eds.) (2002) Recent Sightings. Cambodia Bird News 9: 47-59.Mundkur, T., Carr, P., Sun Hean and Chhim Somean 1995. Surveys for large waterbirds in Cambodia. March - April 1994. Cambridge, UK: IUCN/SSC.Scott, D. A.. (1992) Survey of Cambodian wetlands, 26 November to 5 December 1992. Unpubl.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Basset Marsh. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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