Boeung Chhmar / Moat Khla

Country/territory: Cambodia

IBA Criteria met: A1, A4i, A4iii (2003)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 39,405 ha

NatureLife Cambodia
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2009 very high unfavourable high
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
The IBA comprises of the open wetlands and swamp forest of the Boeung Chhmar Core Area of Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve and the adjacent Moat Khla area to the north. Boeung Chhmar is a permanent, 4,000 ha lake, surrounded by flooded swamp forest, comprising tall (7-15 m high) gallery forest and fairly homogeneous stands of short (2-4 m high) trees and scrub. Boeung Chhmar is linked to Tonle Sap Lake by a maze of channels and streams. Moat Khla is an area of flooded swamp forest, characterised by a dense network of interconnected channels and shallow creeks, running parallel to the lakeshore, bordered by tall (7-15 m high) gallery forest, dominated by Barringtonia acutangula and Diospyros cambodiana. Boeung Chhmar has been designated as a Ramsar site.Boeung Chhmar is clearly one of the important feeding sites for large waterbirds in Cambodia, particularly in the post-breeding period, and regularly supports significant numbers of Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis, Indian Cormorant Phalacrocorax fuscicollis, Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala and Greater Adjutant Leptoptilos dubius. In addition, Masked Finfoot Heliopais personata has been recorded at Moat Khla.

Key biodiversity

Non-bird biodiversity: Siamese Crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis) known to occur at Moat Khla, but local people reperted that now is very rare. IUCN category - critically endangered. The flooded forest is extremely important for many fish species (Rainboth 1996). The flooded forest represents and important and unique botanical community (McDonald et al. 1997).Long-tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis), Silvered Langur (Semnopithecus cristatus)Asiatic Softshell Turtle (Amyda cartilaginea), Malayan Box Turtle (Cuora ambionensis), Malayan Snail-eating Turtle (Malayemys subtrijuga), Yellow-headed Temple Turtle (Hieremys annandalii), Siamese Crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Boeung Chhmar / Moat Khla. Downloaded from on 25/06/2022.