As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Tourists urged to visit endangered birds

Bird conservationists are calling on tourists to visit critically endangered birds living in Preah Vihear province’s Kulen Promtep and Chhep wildlife sanctuaries.

Dep Oun, the head of Tmatboey community in Preah Vihear, said locals had set up eco-tourism facilities in the area in 2008, but they only receive 200 tourists every year.

An eco-lodge with more than 10 rooms is available to visitors, allowing people to get up close and personal with birds such as the Giant Ibis and White-shouldered Ibis.

Both birds are listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List. The Giant Ibis is also Cambodia’s national bird.

“We want more tourists, including local people, to visit so our community can survive,” Mr. Oun said. “Their visit will contribute to the preservation of some of the rarest birds in the world and improve the livelihoods of villagers.”

Mr. Oun said the only people that now visit are foreigners, who are mostly birdwatchers from Europe. The community estimates it could earn about $10,000 each tourist season, which runs from October until April, but only a handful of local tourists have ever visited.

He pointed out that he and other villagers used to be hunters, but had become conservationists when they understood how endangered the birds were.

However, he said his community still needs to find a way to earn an income.


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