Prek Toal

Country/territory: Cambodia

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

Area: 39,873 ha

NatureLife Cambodia
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2008 medium near favourable medium
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
Prek Toal is one of the most intact areas of freshwater swamp forest around Tonle Sap Lake. This unique ecosystem is adapted to withstand seasonal variation of water level of up to 10 m, and consists of short-tree shrublands and gallery forests of 7-15 m tall trees, dominated by Barringtonia acutangula and Diospyros cambodiana and a variety of woody lianas. In the dry season (January to May), these large trees support the largest remaining colonies of storks, pelicans and ibises in mainland South-east Asia. The IBA is centred on the Prek Toal Core Area of Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve and includes all areas the bird colonies and the areas of best swamp forest. It is also completely inside a fishing concession (Fishing Lot No. 2 of Battambang Province),and the area is commercially fished on an industrial scale between January and July, severely restricting access to people who are not employees of the concessionaire. The waterbird colonies of Prek Toal contain some of the world's largest numbers of Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis and Greater Adjutant Leptoptilos dubius, and Prek Toal is perhaps the only site in world where Milky Stork Mycteria cinerea breeds in freshwater. In addition, the IBA supports significant wet season breeding populations of Darter Anhinga melanogaster and Grey-headed Fish Eagle Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus, and, Masked Finfoot Heliopais personata, young chicks of which have been recorded.

Key biodiversity
Other regionally significant birds (Probably all breeding). Great Cormorant, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Cotton Pygmy Goose, Comb Duck, Watercock and Baya Weaver.

Non-bird biodiversity: Siamese Crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis) occurs in the area (critical endangered). Also Long tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis) near threatened. Extremely important for many fish species (Ramboth 1996). Important botanical community (McDonald et al. 1997). Turtle populations little known but said to be decreasing.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Prek Toal. Downloaded from on 25/06/2022.