Asian Elephants

Cambodia’s Prey Lang Forest is the largest remaining lowland evergreen forest in the Indo-Burma region and home to over 55 threatened wildlife species, including Asian elephants.

Cambodia’s deforestation rate is among the world’s highest, placing its forests under severe pressure. Prey Lang Forest, in north-central Cambodia, is under threat from illegal logging, commercial agriculture, hunting, and insecure land tenure – all of which are severely impacting the ecosystem and its wildlife. Prey Lang also serves critical watershed functions for the Mekong and Tonle Sap basins and provides rich agricultural soil and other natural resources for people living there.

Tuy Sereivathana (Vathana) leads our program in Cambodia. Vathana is internationally recognized for his Asian elephant conservation efforts. He has received the Goldman Environmental Prize (2010), is a National Geographic Emerging Explorer (2011), and is a member of the Asian Green Forum.

Our goal for this program is for Asian elephants and other endangered species to flourish in Prey Lang Forest and for this important forest ecosystem to sustain traditional livelihoods and regional prosperity. Our field work focuses on: community forest patrols and Asian elephant monitoring; working with communities to reduce threats, including mitigating human-elephant conflict; education and awareness raising with local schools; and promoting sustainable agriculture and harvest of non-timber forest products.

Camera Traps in Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary

A key feature of our Cambodia team’s conservation work is the installation and monitoring of camera traps in the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary, Stung Teng Province. As of January, 2018, 24 animal species have been recorded on camera. This includes six species that have been identified by the IUCN Red List as threatened: Asian elephants (Endangered), gaurs (Vulnerable), sun bears (Vulnerable), binturongs (Vulnerable), smooth coated otters (Vulnerable), and silvered langurs (Endangered).

These rare images were captured in remote areas of Prey Lang Forest in challenging terrain. The result is a snapshot of the incredible diversity of species that make their home in the lowland evergreen forest.

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Vathana is internationally recognized for his Asian elephant conservation efforts.