KH009
Sekong River


Country/territory: Cambodia

IBA Criteria met: A1, A2, A4i (2003)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 14,116 ha

NatureLife Cambodia

Site description
The IBA comprises the stretch of the Sekong River from the international border with Laos to its confluence with Mekong River. Along this stretch of the river, there are many different habitats, many of which can be catagorised as channel mosaics of rock and sand islands with riverine scrub. There are no stretches dominated by extensive sandbars, and significant stretches are slow-moving and relatively featureless. For much of its length, the Sekong River is fringed by a belt of gallery forest, about 100 m wide, which is significantly taller than the adjacent deciduous dipterocarp forest, and contains a high proportion of broadleaf evergreen trees. However this has been degraded or cleared for cultivation in many areas.The IBA supports a suite of bird species restricted to wide, lowland rivers, including River Lapwing Vanellus duvaucelii, Small Pratincole Glareola lactea, Great Thick-knee Esacus recurvirostris and River Tern Sterna aurantia. In addition, the IBA supports Mekong Wagtail Motacilla samveasnae, a recently described species, which is thought to be endemic to the Mekong River and its major tributaries. Furthermore, at certain times of the year, the IBA may be important for a number of large waterbirds, including Giant Ibis Pseudibis gigantea.

Key biodiversity
One Glossy Ibis was recorded in 1998 feeding on the mouth of Sekong River close to Koh Dat. Some other regionally significant species were also recorded during the survey conducted in May 2002 such as Great Thick-knee (Esacus recurvirostris), Small Pratincole (Glareola lactea), River Lapwing (Vanellus duvaucelii), River Tern (Sterna aurantia) and Woolly-necked Stork (Ciconia episcopus). During the survey, a total of 10 Great Thick-knees (Esacus recurvirostris) were seen along the Sekong river, between Stung Treng town (UTM 0604662 1496202) and a point 3 km downstream of the Laotian border (UTM 0644578 1593125). On 22 May 2002, a total of 21 River Lapwings (Vanellus duvaucelii) were seen along the Sekong river, between Stung Treng town and a point 3 km downstream of the Laotian border. On 24 May 2002, a total of 14 birds were seen along the Sekong river between Siem Pang town and Stung Treng town. Taking the higher of the two counts for the stretch between Siem Pang and Stung Treng towns, the minimum count of River Lapwing along the Cambodian part of the Sekong river is 35 birds. This compares with a count of c.211 birds along a 200 km stretch of the Se San river, during May 1998 (Timmins and Men Soriyun 1998). The difference in number of birds recorded can be attributed to the fact that, during the survey along the Se San river, exposed sandbars were present along greater than 60% of the total river length, whereas, during the survey along the Sekong river, exposed sandbars were present along less than 15% of the total river length. On 19 May 2002, a total of 16 Small Pratincoles (Glareola lactea) were seen along the Sekong river between Stung Treng town and Siem Pang town. On 22 May 2002, a total of 20 birds were seen along the Sekong river, between Stung Treng town and a point 3 km downstream of the Laotian border. On 24 May 2002, a total of 16 birds were seen along the Sekong river between Siem Pang town and Stung Treng town. On 19 May 2002, a total of 31 River Terns (Sterna aurantia) were seen along the Sekong river between Stung Treng town and Siem Pang town (UTM 0650208 1560485). On 22 May 2002, a total of 11 birds were seen along the Sekong river, between Stung Treng town and a point 3 km downstream of the Laotian border. On 24 May 2002, a total of 20 birds were seen along the Sekong river between Siem Pang town and Stung Treng town. On 19 May 2002, two Woolly-necked Storks (Ciconia episcopuswere) seen in flight above gallery forest along the western bank of the Sekong river (UTM 0635490 1527343). On 20 May 2002, two birds were seen feeding at a seasonal wetland, about 1 ha in area, called Trapaeng Prolit Touch (UTM 0644374 1566530).

Non-bird biodiversity: Long-tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis), Silvered Langur (Semnopithecus cristatus).Asiatic Softshell Turtle (Amyda cartilaginea), Asian Giant Softshell (Pelochelys cantorii).


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sekong River. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/06/2022.