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Cambodia is one of the most biodiverse countries in Southeast Asia, with as many as 8,260 plant species (10% of which may be endemic) along with more than 250 species of amphibian and reptile, 874 fish species and over 500 bird species.

Of particular interest to conservationists is a 10,000km2 area in the south-west of the country known as the Cardamom Mountain Landscape, which harbours a remarkable diversity of species including elephants, bears and gaur (the world’s largest bovine). Still relatively unexplored, this landscape has many secrets left to reveal, and new species are regularly discovered by biologists surveying its forests.

Cambodia also has a rich marine environment, with coral reefs surrounding almost all of its islands. Around 70 coral species are known to be found here, and the country also has extensive seagrass beds and mangrove habitats.

Like many other countries in the region, Cambodia faces the challenge of developing its economy and reducing poverty without ravaging its unique natural resources – a challenge made more difficult by restricted financial and technical capacity for sustainable environmental management.

As a result, forest cover in Cambodia has fallen by 20% since 1990, while destructive fishing practices – such as the use of explosives and poison – together with unsustainable developments are wreaking havoc on its marine environment.

Our work to protect Cambodia’s biodiversity

Fauna & Flora has been working in Cambodia for more than 20 years, supporting the government’s conservation work across the country, and was one of the first international conservation organisations on the ground following years of conflict.

Our scientists joined early expeditions into the Cardamom Mountains after remnants of the Khmer Rouge finally left the area and we were instrumental in rediscovering the Siamese crocodile, which was thought to be extinct in the wild. Following this discovery, we spearheaded a community-based conservation programme to conserve these reptiles.

Our field activities focus on community engagement and empowerment, food security, biodiversity monitoring and research with the aim of conserving critical forest and marine habitats and protecting flagship species of global importance such as Siamese crocodiles and Asian elephants. At a national level, we are working to stop the illegal wildlife trade in Cambodia, focusing on bushmeat, ivory and marine products. We have also partnered with the Royal University of Phnom Penh to develop the next generation of Cambodian conservationists.

The combined output of all these interventions is strengthening biodiversity conservation while building good governance and alleviating poverty.

More about our work in Cambodia

Turtle bonanza in Cambodia
Fauna & Flora Cambodia - Protecting Sea Turtles video screenshot
News

Turtle bonanza in Cambodia

Hundreds of turtle hatchlings discovered in a series of nest finds following a decade of fruitless searching in Cambodia...
Conserving Virachey National Park’s forest ecosystem
Physignathus cocincinus Virachey National Park. © Jeremy Holden / Fauna & Flora
Project

Conserving Virachey National Park’s forest ecosystem

Fauna & Flora is working to strengthen the management of Virachey National Park, survey its biodiversity and support com...
Cambodia
Habitat destruction
Illegal wildlife trade
People & the environment
Resource extraction
Conserving Siamese crocodiles in Cambodia
One of our captive-bred Siamese crocodiles receives a blessing. © Jeremy Holden / Fauna & Flora
Project

Conserving Siamese crocodiles in Cambodia

Fauna & Flora is working with the Cambodian government and local communities to safeguard the remaining wild populations...
Cambodia
Habitat destruction
Illegal wildlife trade
Resource extraction
Royal University of Phnom Penh
Page

Royal University of Phnom Penh

Fauna & Flora joined forces with the Royal University of Phnom Penh in 2005 to establish Cambodia's first masters degree...
Asian elephant
Asian elephant collecting grass in woodland habitat. © Nick Everett / Getty Images
Species

Asian elephant

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Siamese crocodile
Siamese crocodile. © Jeremy Holden / Fauna & Flora
Species

Siamese crocodile

Discover how one of the world's rarest reptiles is rebounding from the brink of extinction after its rediscovery by Faun...
Pangolins
Sunda pangolin © Bjorn Olesen
Species

Pangolins

Meet the world's most trafficked mammals and discover how Fauna & Flora is tackling the threats to their survival in Afr...