The Ministry of Environment held an exhibition of rare birds in Siem Reap province yesterday to promote conservation and ecotourism in Cambodia, as some species near extinction due to poaching.
The 2nd Cambodian Bird Expo Day, under the theme “bird watching linked to ecotourism”, exhibited 21 species of rare birds accompanied by speeches by Cambodian bird experts.
Ministry of Environment’s director-general of Environmental Knowledge and Information, Chuop Paris said: “Ecotourism has played an important role in improving the livelihoods of local communities and has contributed to the protection and conservation of natural resources as well as social development.”
“Protected areas of Cambodia have great potential to become bird tourism areas that can attract national and international tourists to visit and learn about the life of the rare birds,” he added.
He said he wants people to take care of forests as a habitat for both animals and humans and to serve the tourism sector.
Deputy Governor of Siem Reap province, Ngan Phirun, expressed his support for the bird show as a contribution to reducing hunting and eating of wild animals, and for promoting love for animals to benefit tourism.
He added that relevant institutions must strive to raise funds from partner organisations to conserve wildlife in Cambodia.
Nheum Bunthoeun, a student majoring in the field of ecology, said that Cambodian birds are very threatened by poaching and some are close to extinction.
“Some species are almost extinct due to traps and illegal hunting equipment. We should preserve these birds for our descendants,” he said.
Bunthoeun added that birds are not only beautiful animals, but some help farmers control pests and protect rice crops.
According to a report from the Ministry of Environment, more than 600 species of birds are currently registered in the Kingdom. Among them are some endangered species such as the Giant Ibis, the Red-Headed Vulture, the White-Rumped Vulture and the Asian Openbill.
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