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Location Cambodia, Kandal
Central coordinates 105o 9.00' East  11o 17.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i
Area 52,316 ha
Altitude 4 - 5m
Year of IBA assessment 2003

BirdLife Indochina Programme (BirdLife Direct Action Programme)

Site description The IBA comprises an extensive area of wetlands between the Mekong and Bassac Rivers. The vegetation of the IBA is dominated by seasonally inundated shrub and savanna swamp, which is surrounded by agricultural land. During the wet season, the IBA is inundated, and is characterised by large areas of deep, open water, with substantial areas of emergent, floating and submerged aquatic vegetation. The IBA supports large numbers of commoner waterbirds, as well as small numbers of Darter Anhinga melanogaster, Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis and Asian Golden Weaver Ploceus hypoxanthus. In addition, the IBA regularly supports more than 1% of the Asian biogeographic population of Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybridus).

Key Biodiversity Other significant assemblage of waterbird species are 2000 Pond Heron species, 600 Intermediate Egrets, 230 Pheasant-tailed Jacanas and 85 Black-winged Stilts. Many shorebird species also occur in the area such as Black-taile Godwit, Marsh Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Asiatic Golden Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover etc.

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 
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida non-breeding  2002  abundant  A4i  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2009 very high favourable negligible
Good - based on reliable and complete / 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: large scale happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Biological resource use logging & wood harvesting - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - nutrient loads happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Residential and commercial development commercial and industrial development likely in long term (beyond 4 years) whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration high

Wetlands (inland) Freshwater lakes and pools  0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) favourable

Unknown  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 Abandoned farmland, disturbed ground; 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 settlements

Further web sources of information 

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

References Akers, P. (2000). Bird surveys in Cambodia January-March 2000. Unpublished RSPB sabbatical report. Sandy, UK.Edwards, P.J. (1996) Cambodia wetlands ornithological survey. Xenus Ecology. Newmarket, UK.Edwards, P.J. (1996) Recent waterbird surveys in Cambodia. Forktail 15: 29-42.Goes, F. (1999) Les marais de la plaine des quatre bras. Cambodia Bird News 3: 44-51.Goes, 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. Unpublished report.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Bassac Marsh. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

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