Cambodia Vulture Conservation Project

The Cambodian populations of the now Critically Endangered White-rumped Vulture, Slender-billed Vulture, and Red-headed Vulture represent the last stronghold of the species outside the diclofenac affected range (South Asia). However, the Cambodian populations are threatened primarily by a paucity of food (owing first to a decline in wild ungulates and second to declines in numbers of free-ranging domestic cattle and buffalo arising from increasing agricultural mechanization, sale of stock into meat export trade, and increasing domestic consumption), low nesting success owing to opportunistic nest predation by people, natural predation, and felling of nesting trees for timber and incidental poisoning incidents. Poising is also a major threat, used for hunting and fishing, and to kill nuisance domestic animals (e.g. feral dogs). Vultures die from eating animals that have ingested poison. In response to these threats, the Cambodia Vulture Conservation Project (CVCP) was established in 2004, as a partnership of government agencies and NGOs, faciliated by BirdLife Internaitonal. The partnership has drafted and implements a vulture conservation action plan for Cambodia.

The overall goal of this project is to ensure the population of all three vulture species in Cambodia remains stable against 2016 baselines and to monitor the threats and status of the three vulture species in Cambodia. Key actions include raising community awareness about vultures, supporting enforcement of laws for misues of pesticides, lobbying for a national ban on Carbofuran, promoting community based livelihoods (cow bank, community based vulture tourism), and providing supplementary feeding of Vulture populations through vulture restaurants at key sites. The capacity of the CVCP’s local partners remains low and funding is limited, despite that several activities e.g., supplemental feeding, will need to continue for a significant period of time, at least at some sites, until long-term goals e.g. the recovery of wild ungulate populations, are realized.