Continued Presence of Bantengs Confirmed in Cambodia

The continued presence of bantengs (Bos javanicus) in Cambodia has been confirmed, according to WWF-Cambodia's research team who has presented the footage of running bantengs in a wildlife sanctuary in the country.

The recent footage of running bantengs captured in Srepok Wildlife Sanctuary (SWS) was taken while WWF-Cambodia's research team were walking line transect to record the number of animals in the protected area. Line transect is a research method done to count wild animals so that we can understand about the animal distribution within certain protected areas.

WWF-Cambodia is excited to see this herd of bantengs. This is a positive sign for the joint conservation work by the government, WWF-Cambodia, and conservation partners. Considered to be one of the most beautiful and graceful of all wild cattle species, the banteng is most likely the ancestor of Southeast Asia's domestic cattle. Cambodia has the biggest population of banteng in the world. Today, the most significant population in Cambodia remains in the Eastern Plains Landscape, where protection efforts have stabilised declines locally, said the team.

However, this banteng population is under considerable pressure from habitat loss including illegal logging, mining, infrastructure development, land encroachment and from snaring and hunting. Decease and parasites from domestic and feral livestock pose further serious threats to banteng survival. As a result, WWF-Cambodia is enforcing a ban of all domestic cattle in the strict protection zones of SWS and Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary (PPWS).

According to research findings in 2011, about 2,700-5,700 bantengs are believed to live in Cambodia over the estimated global population of approximately 5,900-11,000.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press