Posts Tagged ‘Birdwatching’

Cambodia’s Sam Veasna Center a finalist for 2016 World Responsible Tourism Awards

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

It has been announced that Sam Veasna Center for Wildlife Conservation (SVC) is one of just 13 finalists up for the 2016 World Responsible Tourism Awards at the World Travel Market in London in November 2016, putting Cambodia firmly on the global map for bird and wildlife ecotourism.

Gibbons in Cambodia

Gibbons in Cambodia

Hanuman has worked with SVC for more than a decade now, sending visitors to Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary, Ang Trapeang Thmor, Tmatboey and new wildlife sites such as Seima Protected Forest in Mondulkiri. Hanuman congratulates SVC on this nomination and looks forward to a continued close relationship in promoting the wildlife of Cambodia as a sustainable model to flora and fauna in the kingdom.

SVC is entered for the ‘Best Contribution to Wildlife Conservation’ award, highlighting the key role that ecotourism can have in preserving wildlife and habitats in Cambodia and around the world.
SVC has successfully made it through the most rigorous tourism Awards judging process and is now in contention to be globally awarded for its contribution to wildlife conservation. Innovation, inspiration and repeatable models were key criteria for this year’s finalists and SVC’s unique approach, working closely with WCS Cambodia, of conservation through community based ecotourism has been celebrated for the clear conservation success it has shown.

Cambodia is home to unique habitats and species that have all but vanished across Southeast Asia and has some of the world’s most threatened birds and wildlife, including critically endangered species such as Giant Ibis, 3 vulture species, numerous primates, Asian Elephants and the emblematic Eld’s Deer. Species that can only be seen with SVC. By taking birding and wildlife safaris throughout Cambodia and working closely with rural and indigenous communities in the most vulnerable habitats, SVC and conservation partner the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) have been able to measure the stabilisation and growth of critically endangered species, and a reduction in deforestation. The SVC model for eco-tourism both directly incentivizes conservation in communities by paying a fee to the community when certain wildlife are seen, as well as training and employing community members as guides and ecotourism service providers.

SVC Director, Johnny Orn says: “Being recognised in this way puts Cambodia on the world map for its incredible birding and wildlife tourism – not something Cambodia is traditionally famous for. It also highlights the importance of ecotourism in Cambodia and the success for conservation achieved through responsible tourism. The more tourists who come to see our wildlife in a responsible way, the more of that wildlife that can be protected, and the more communities can directly benefit.”

Dr Ross Sinclair, WCS’s Country Director says: “Being a finalist in the 2016 World Responsible Tourism Awards is recognition of the quality and impact of SVC’s ecotourism products. By partnering with a conservation NGO like WCS to ensure there are conservation outcomes, and working with communities to ensure livelihood benefits, SVC are a world class example of responsible tourism.”

Sam Veasna Centre is a Cambodian wildlife conservation NGO sustaining Cambodia’s wildlife and communities through ecotourism, running wildlife viewing trips with exclusive access to Wildlife Conservation Society sites across Cambodia. The goal is to provide an alternative sustainable livelihood from ecotourism for the local communities at priority sites for conservation. In return for the income and employment received they are asked to sign no hunting and land use agreements, which are monitored by Ministries of Environment and Forestry patrol teams advised by WCS. SVC now works with 8 communities around the country.

The funds generated from ecotourism go back into community, conservation projects and ecotourism development creating a ‘local environmentally sustainable economy’. SVC’s unique collaborative approach has been held up by the Government of Cambodia as a model of successful community based ecotourism in protected areas which can be replicated across the country.

By investing in communities SVC has reduced, and in some cases, reversed species and habitat degradation by providing a sustainable livelihood option that reduces rural poverty, and SVC’s Environmental Education Training (EET) is teaching the next generation of Cambodians about the importance of conservation.

Tour of the Week: Birding Cambodia

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Hanuman’s Tour of the Week highlights the opportunities for bird lovers to combine their twitching passions with seeing the amazing sights at Angkor in Cambodia, with a temple safari at Koh Ker to add that extra special spice to your adventures.

Birding Cambodia

Birding Cambodia

Birdwatching enthusiasts will find much to twitch about in Cambodia with a number of key sites to enjoy their passion. We begin our 10-day birding tour with an introduction to the temples of Angkor, followed by a visit to observe the colonies of large water birds at Prek Toal, an area unmatched throughout southeast Asia for the number of endangered water birds it supports. We then head north for a day on the wetlands of Ang Trapeang Thmor, the home of around 300 Sarus Crane at breeding season and more than 200 species of other birds. Another big-hitter is the award-winning community project at Tmatboey where two critically endangered Ibis species are to be seen. We then combine birdwatching with the forest temples of Beng Mealea and Koh Ker, where we enjoy a signature temple safari before completing our journey at the floating village of Kompong Khleang.

The birdwatching season in Cambodia is ideally from January through to April/May. At Prek Toal large flocks of cormorants, storks and pelicans are almost guaranteed along with herons, egrets and terns. Sarus Cranes are much in evidence at Ang Trapeang Thmor through the dry season months of March and April, whilst the same period is best for the Ibis at the Tmatboey project. For more details on this 10 day/9 night Birding Cambodia itinerary, visit the Hanuman website at: http://www.hanuman.travel/Tours/Cambodia/ET_Birding_Cambodia.html.

Cambodia’s bird-men

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

As we begin 2013, we wanted to highlight one of our favourite organisations, who we work very closely with in Siem Reap. The Sam Veasna Center are one of the very best wildlife conservation groups in the Indochina region, enabling visitors to enjoy endangered birds in their natural habitat as well as supporting and encouraging local communities to play a big part in tourism activities in their own back-yard.

Sam Veasna Center

Sam Veasna Center

Sam Veasna Center

Who and What: Sam Veasna Center organises responsible tours to remote habitats that benefit rural communities and promote wildlife conservation. Founded in 2003 to serve as a focal point for conservation initiatives in Northwestern Cambodia, Sam Veasna works with communities in remote areas to develop and promote their ecotourism enterprises.

The Experience: Visit one of Cambodia’s many protected areas and observe rare and endangered bird species. See large rare water birds at Prek Toal Biosphere on the Tonle Sap; see the imposing Sarus Crane at Ang Trapeang Thmor (ATT); or travel to remote Tmatboey to see the extremely rare Giant Ibis.

From Hanuman: Sam Veasna is one of the most impressive ecotourism non-governmental organisations operating in Cambodia. Their projects include most of the major birding hotspots in the kingdom, including popular and accessible Prek Toal and ATT, as well as much more remote birding sites in Preah Vihear, Stung Treng and Mondulkiri, such as the famous ‘vulture restaurants’ of the northeast.

Find out more about the Sam Veasna Center at http://www.samveasna.org.

Spotting the Sarus Crane in Kampot

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Anlong Pring Bird Sanctuary in Kompong Trach, Kampot Province, is home to nearly 300 sarus cranes.

Sarus Cranes

The sarus crane is a striking bird. One of the world’s largest birds in full flight, the bright red head is in stark contrast to the grey plumage. Anlong Pring Bird Sanctuary is an official Important Bird Area (IBA) and home to about  30% of the world’s sarus cranes. The wet grasslands in this area draw the birds to the area from mid-November until early May when they migrate to northern Cambodia. The sarus crane is a magnificent bird and seeing these creatures in their natural habitat or in flight is a rare privilege. The sanctuary is about 35km from Kep and takes about one hour to reach. This will an impressive half-day module to add to Kep and Kampot programmes for the coming high season, as it is more accessible than Ang Trapeang Thmor in Banteay Meanchey, the other popular sarus crane spotting area about 100km from Siem Reap.