Ang Trapeang Thmor Bird Watching | Cambodia

Ang Trapeang Thmor is a distinctive wetland ecosystem. It provides a home to more than 200 species of birds including the threatened Sarus crane. Over the past few years, the population of the Sarus Crane species in this region has steadily risen. 18 of the habitats found in Ang Trapeang Thmor are listed as endangered globally or nearly globally. The Ang Trapeang Thmor project endeavors to help avoid the birds from collapsing. Birds can be seen every year but the perfect time to see the Sarus Crane is from February to May.

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Ang Trapeang Thmor Bird Watching

Ang Trapeang Thmor also nurtures the deer of the internationally threatened Eld Ang Trapeang Thmor is stationed in the northwest of Cambodia. Located in Banteay Meanchey province. It is around 100 km from the town of Siem Reap. It is a two-hour drive from Siem Reap City during summer months and a three-hour drive with a shuttle bus, taxi or road taxi during the rainy season. Having your own4-wheel drive vehicle is indispensable for accessing the forest.

Cooperation between the Sam Veasna Center as well as WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) established Ang Trapeang Thmor in the year 2003. Ang Trapeang Thmor continues to offer a wide array of new species of birds throughout the year. Visitors have the opportunity to watch birds on ATT’s highly concentrated birdlife. Notably on the Sarus Crane, amongst the most extinct species of birds here anyway. They can relish both the outlook over the wetland ecosystem and the lake area’s scenic beauty. A good alternative is for those who feel like doing some exercise paddle boating. With ancient sites and local silk weaving hubs, Ang Trapeang Thmor offers an excellent insight into the rural Cambodian culture. If not at least, ATT is also renowned for watching deer from its Eld.

The Species that Reside in ATT

For a proportion of other vulnerable species, e.g. Sarus Crane, Painted Seahorse, Spot-billed Seagull as well as other waterfowls. Ang Trapeang Thmor safe haven is also an important conservation area. One primate the Eld’s Deer (Rucervus eldii) has been threatened globally. About 200 genera of birds registered within the reserve. Ang Trapeang Thmor Crane Shelter is a Cambodian conservation area onto the site of a major Khmer Rouge drainage project built throughout the 1976s. On 22 February 2000, the sanctuary was gazette and covering an area of 12,650 acres of forest.

The reserve was set aside to maintain the threatened Sarus Crane in the middle of the country. Before the crane was discovered at Trapaing Thmor, less than 1,000 of the birds left alive in the world were thought to be present. Ang Trapeang Tmor (ATT), it’s all about 2 hours’ drive from Siem Reap. There is a feeding region for the biggest collection of Sarus Cranes in Southeast Asia including up to six types of goose.There are Black-necked Storks, Dynamic Spotted Eagle, Painted Stork, Milky Stork, Asian Plover, and many other birds, and travel around the river to search for threatened Eld’s Deer. See the silk weavers of the local village, who will directly sell their wares to you. The ideal time for seeing the Sarus Crane is Jan through May, although an accumulation of mammal species makes it a valuable birding.

Historical Remarks of ATT  -Ang Trapeang Thmor

The Ang Trapeang Thmor site brags a long track record from the Angkorian period. Ruins of an antiquity laterite bridge are noticeable on today’s main entry roads. It is lead to the storage tank, which formed part of a major wharf. This road induced the accumulation of water to the north of the causeway, contributing to the wetlands that are today a key feature of the wildlife.

During the Democratic Kampuchea government of Pol Pot, an 11-km section of the eastern-western causeway was turned into a lake, along with a 9-km stretch of the north-south causeway. Both were conducted using forced labor. Many peasants died as a result of the on-site work, starvation and bad conditions. The framework was intended to include water recycling and water processing in the downstream area for rice cultivation. The system was never finished and went into decline.

Ang Trapeang Thmor
Source: flickr

Refurbished in 2004, the dam is already closed during most of the wet season. It allow water to build up to the north of the dam door frame. This is then published during the dry season in order to reforest the fields just to the south of the project. However, the precise timing and frequency of water release is a contested choice each year; because too much water overflows the area to the south, the rice harvest there is demolished, but if too little water is released. The crop on that side of the dam wall is destroyed by the build-up of water to the north.

The Ang Trapeang Thmor Crane Sanctuary encompasses 10,000 ha of territory in Banteay Meanchey State’s Phnom Srok District. What was initially planned in the 1970s to be an irrigation project is currently one of Cambodia’s most unique wetland biodiversity.

What You Can Experience Here  -Ang Trapeang Thmor

The sanctuary is host to several species of birds, many facing global extinction, such as the vulnerable’ Eastern Sarus Crane.’ Such cranes, if fully grown, can reach up to 5 feet in length.

Ang Trapeang Thmor
Source: ministryoftourismcombodia

The Long-Tailed Macaque, the Elongated Turtle, Malaysian Snail-Eating Turtle, the Asian Box Turtle, and Eld’s Donkey are other animals that live in the shelter. The wildlife location is open to tourists all year round and is a’ must-see’ for animal lovers.

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In conclusion, the sanctuary is centered on a storage tank created during the Khmer Rouge regime by forced labor, and amenities are very basic but it is an incredibly lovely place. Take your own binoculars, as there are several.


Taufiq is an award-winning copywriter and digital marketing consultant. He is also a passionate traveler and freelancer, teaching financial independence and professional development through working freelance projects:

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