The IBA comprises the catchment of the upper Stung Sen river. The vegetation of the IBA is dominated by open deciduous dipterocarp forest (grading into mixed deciduous and semi-evergreen forest in the west), permanent and seasonal wetlands and grasslands.Much of the IBA is a floodplain and in the wet season, is inundated, while in the dry season, water is restricted to a few permanent watercourses (the Stung Sen river and its larger tributaries) and pools. Along these watercourses, semi-evergreen forest and thick bamboo forest are distributed. Much of the IBA is located within Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary. The IBA supports one of the few breeding colonies of Darter Anhinga melanogaster remaining outside of the Tonle Sap Lake floodplain. In addition, the IBA is an important breeding site for Sarus Crane Grus antigone and Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus. Furthermore, a number of other globally threatened and near-threatened species have been recorded at the site, including Giant Ibis (Pseudibis gigantea), White-shouldered Ibis (Pseudibis davisoni), Greater Adjutant (Leptoptilos dubius), Black-necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) and Grey-headed Fish Eagle (Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus).
Other regionally significant bird species: Alexandrine Parakeet, Woolly-necked Stork, Great Slaty Woodpecker.
There are numerous permanent human settlements within the IBA, some large, including the provincial town of Tbeng Meanchey, the district town of Chom Khsan, and Phum Takang (a resettlement village), which was established in 1999. For at least the last two years, local people from this village have collected eggs and chicks from the Darter colony within the IBA. All large waterbirds breeding at the IBA face similar, hunting-based threats, especially the ground-nesting Sarus Crane, for which there is a high demand from the wildlife trade in Thailand. Major potential future threats to biodiversity at the IBA include human in-migration, provincial road development plans, and the agricultural expansion and increase in hunting that would accompany it.
Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
Recommendations- A mapping of key wetlands, key species breeding areas and human presence throughout the IBA should be carried out. This will require further surveys and should be used to inform conservation planning.- Initiate a conservation planning process with the WS authorities and other relevant Provincial Government bodies based on the results of the above. Efforts should be made to ensure recognition of the above in Provincial and National development plans.- Undertake a needs analysis of the Wildlife Sanctuary and its staff in order that capacity may be strengthened appropriately and efficiently.- Current ranger patrolling and enforcement initiatives in Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary should be continued and increased to cover all important areas. Activities should focus on the control of illegal fishing methods, egg collection and the conversion or degradation of riverine habitats.- The initiative of a local conservation team to protect the Darter colony should be further supported and potentially expanded.- Immigration, illegal settlement and land encroachment into the Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary should be prevented, particularly involving planned resettlement of former military personnel.
Overlaps with Kulen Prum Tep Wildlife Sanctuary
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Upper Stung Sen Catchment. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 16/01/2021.