Landmark book on Cambodian birdlife published

The Birds of Cambodia – An Annotated Checklist is set to become an indispensable reference to ornithologists, conservationists and bird watchers alike. As the most extensive book on Cambodian birdlife ever published, it is the first to comprehensively cover the latest knowledge on the Kingdom’s fascinating avifauna.

book cover

Twelve years of ornithological surveys and observations, coupled with six years of review of all available records has resulted in a thorough account, identifying all bird species throughout Cambodia, including those of national conservation concern.

Though the global importance of Cambodian bird fauna is widely recognised, the sole review to date was confined to pre-1970s records. Information on Cambodian birds has grown exponentially since the 1990s, and The Birds of Cambodia – An Annotated Checklist now provides an authoritative basis for a national red data book and future conservation legislation.

Spot-billed pelican. Credit: Rob Overtoom
Spot-billed pelican. Credit: Rob Overtoom

The book consists of three parts – introduction, systematic section and appendices, and includes 48 colour plates illustrating major habitats, conservation threats and over 80 bird species photographed in the wild.

The introduction describes the natural geography, major habitats, protected areas, ornithological history and survey coverage, and reviews conservation successes and challenges and provides guidance for novice birdwatchers.

A systematic section presents peer-reviewed accounts for 599 bird species, collating latest knowledge on seasonal occurrence, abundance, distribution and habitats, in addition to notes on breeding and conservation. Detailed reviews of records are also provided for rarities and all species of conservation concern, together with a proposed national conservation category.

Several appendices complete the book. These include checklists for Cambodian birds, nationally threatened species and potential future species additions, census results for globally threatened species and a geographical gazetteer.

Oriental darter. Credit: Rob Overtoom
Oriental darter. Credit: Rob Overtoom

The Birds of Cambodia – An Annotated Checklist was written by Frederic Goes with photographs by Rob Overtoom. It is published by the Centre for Biodiversity Conservation, a collaboration between FFI and the Royal University of Phnom Penh, which also runs the only Master of Science in Biodiversity Conservation postgraduate course in Cambodia.

All proceeds from sales of The Birds of Cambodia – An Annotated Checklist will be used to build awareness and capacity among young Cambodians for bird conservation.

Copies can be obtained by contacting Fauna & Flora International Cambodia through birdsofcambodia@gmail.com

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