Country/territory: Cambodia

IBA criteria met: A1, A3, A4i (2003)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 243,661 ha

NatureLife Cambodia
IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2009 very unfavourable high medium
For more information about IBA monitoring, please click here

Site description (2003 baseline)
The IBA is located in the northern plains of Cambodia, and is centred on the recently decreed Forest Reserve for Conservation of Genetic Diversity, Vegetation and Wildlife Resources in Chhep and Chom Khsan districts. The vegetation of the IBA is characterised by a complex mosaic of habitats, determined by soil quality, proximity to water and topography. Poorer, sandy soils, support a variety of open deciduous dipterocarp forest types, often dominated by only a few species, that characterizes this landscape. Richer, alluvial soils, often near watercourses, support more species-rich forest, dominated by tall, mature dipterocarps, with multiple canopy layers shading a complex herbaceous understorey. Extensive grasslands and seasonal meadows form a patchwork within the open deciduous dipterocarp forest that is unique to the area, and is arguably one of the richest remaining grasslands in the whole of Asia. To the north, the IBA is contiguous with areas of similar natural habitat in Laos.The IBA supports one of the most intact remaining examples of the bird community of the dry forests of central Indochina. The IBA supports a large number of globally threatened and near-threatened bird species, including Green Peafowl Pavo muticus, White-winged Duck Cairina scutulata, Sarus Crane Grus antigone, White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis, Long-billed Vulture G. indicus, Red-headed Vulture Sarcogyps calvus, Greater Adjutant Leptoptilos dubius, Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus and Black-necked Stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus. Most notably, the IBA supports one of the largest remaining populations of Giant Ibis Pseudibis gigantea in the world. In addition it supports small numbers of wintering Manchurian Reed Warbler Acrocephalus tangorum.

Key biodiversity
Other regionally significant bird species: Great Slaty Woodpecker, Streak-throated Woodpecker, White-bellied Woodpecker, Oriental Pied Hornbill, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Alexandrine Parakeet, Green Imperial Pigeon, Orange-breasted Green Pigeon, Woolly-necked Stork, Grey Heron.

Non-bird biodiversity: Red listed mammals occuring (all from Prum Sovanna, mammal list in Preah Vihea province): Asian Elephant, Leopard, Guar, Banteng, Eld's Deer, Dhole, Tiger.Long-tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis), Pig-tailed Macaque (Macaca nemestrina ), Slow Loris (Nycticebus coucang).Asiatic Softshell Turtle (Amyda cartilaginea), Elongated Tortoise (Indotestudo elongata), Yellow-headed Temple Turtle (Hieremys annandalii), Giant Asian Pond Turtle (Heosemys grandis), Malayan Box Turtle (Cuora ambionensis).Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus), Banteng (Bos javanicus), Gaur (Bos gaurus), Eld's Deer (Cervus eldii).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Chhep. Downloaded from on 27/02/2024.