A conservationist group said on Wednesday that a recent Ramsar site status for Cambodia’s Stung Sen wetland is crucial to help protect the habitat of a number of globally near-threatened species.
The rich and biologically diverse Stung Sen wetland has been designated as a unique wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention, protecting the habitat of important species such as the Lesser Adjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus), BirdLife International said in a news release.
Located along the southeastern edge of the Tonle Sap Great Lake in central Kampong Thom province, the 9,293-hectare freshwater swamp is characterized by old-growth forest that undergoes seasonal flooding, the release said, adding that its low-stature shrub land and natural grassland provide crucial foraging grounds for the Lesser Adjutant and refuge for many water birds, mammals and fish.
“The rich feeding grounds offered by the wetland also attract a number of globally Near Threatened species, such as Spot-billed Pelican (Pelecanus philippensis) and Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster,” the release said.
The site not only benefits wildlife, but also plays an important role in flood mitigation during the rainy season, holding up water that would otherwise inundate nearby settlements, it said, adding that it recharges the area’s groundwater and purifies it through its aquatic plants and trees.