The IBA comprises an area of seasonally inundated grassland in the floodplain of the Bassac River, which forms part of one of the largest areas of contiguous natural habitat remaining in the Mekong Delta. To the south and east, this area borders Vietnam, where the natural habitat has been almost entirely converted to agriculture. The IBA is inundated for 3 to 4 months each year, during which time a mat of floating vegetation, comprising around 30 aquatic plant species, forms. During the dry season, from December until May, the IBA supports a non-breeding population of Sarus Crane Grus antigone. After Ang Tropeang Thmor (KH001), this is the largest non-breeding population of this species known in Cambodia. The IBA also supports a number of other globally threatened and near-threatened bird species, most notably Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis. During 2002, the establishment of a Sarus Crane Conservation Area at the IBA was proposed by Department of Forestry and Wildlife.
50 Baya Weavers, 278 Grey Herons and 25 Purple Herons were recorded in November 2001.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
One of the major on-going threats to biodiversity at the IBA, is the use of poison to hunt waterbirds, which is a particular threat to Sarus Crane. Fishing activities, which are widespread within the IBA, are also a source of threats to biodiversity, particularly the practice of pumping water out of wetlands. Perhaps the greatest threat to biodiversity at the IBA is agricultural expansion. Already, large areas of the floodplain of the Bassac River have been converted to irrigated rice agriculture, and there exist plans to further develop irrigation schemes within the IBA, which would directly threaten the feeding areas of Sarus Crane. However, following realisation of the biodiversity and socio-economic values of the natural habitats at the IBA, these plans are currently being revised to mitigate impacts on the IBA.
Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
Recommendations; Steps should be taken to immediately protect the core area as conservation area similar to Ang Trapeang Thmor (IBA #1).- Enforcement activities should be initiated as soon as possible focusing on hunting of waterbirds and illegal fishing methods.- An education and awareness campaign should be undertaken in surrounding villages to gain local support for crane conservation- Any further irrigation or agricultural development in the area should not be undertaken without a full environmental impact assessment and a proper understanding of the potential effects on the natural wetland upon which the cranes are reliant.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Boeung Prek Lapouv. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 03/10/2022.