Safeguard the Bengal Florican

Project Cost: $389,086

Funding Raised: $389,086

Please note that your donation may not be immediately reflected in the funding thermometer above.

Nearly one acre of forest is lost every second


Thanks to generous support from our donors, we have successfully reached our fundraising goal for this project.

Safeguard the Bengal Florican

The Bengal Florican once thrived throughout the grasslands of the Indian subcontinent and lower Mekong Delta in Southeast Asia. But now, this terrestrial bird with patterned feathers is listed as Critically Endangered with already-isolated populations in danger of extinction due to extensive hunting, habitat loss and modification.

Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake houses the Bakan grassland. Due in part to the fertility of this land and its ease of clearance, the Bakan is the last remaining inner floodplain grassland in the region. The habitat, as well as the resident population of 200 Bengal Floricans continue to face multiple threats that could destroy it forever. Bakan is one of only four sites in Cambodia that still supports Bengal Floricans, and the only site on the southern edge of the Tonle Sap to support the species.

In order to sustainably manage the Bakan grasslands and grow the Bengal Florican population, Rainforest Trust and our local partner Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)-Cambodia are working to designate the 75,515-acre Bakan Protected Landscape. Header Photo: The Critically Endangered male Bengal Florican, photo courtesy of WCS-Cambodia.




Bengal Florican (CR), Yellow-Breasted Bunting (CR), Milky Stork (EN)


Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)-Cambodia

Protect the Species of Tonle Sap

In addition to the floricans, the habitat also supports a wealth of rare grassland birds, including a relatively large population of Critically Endangered Yellow-breasted Bunting and the Vulnerable Chinese Grass-babbler. Other species that will benefit from this protection are waterbirds, such as the Lesser Adjutant and reptiles like the Siamese Crocodile.

Without protection, this critical grassland habitat will be converted to irrigated dry-season rice in the next few years, and this community of species will disappear forever. With the loss of grassland habitat, the local communities will also lose access to areas traditionally used for deepwater rice cultivation and the unique cultural traditions of the Tonle Sap floodplain. Deep-water rice cultivation is compatible with habitat management for the Bengal Florican, as these areas are not cultivated in the dry season, allowing the birds to use the habitat.

Join Our Solution

Your donation will not only contribute to the protection of the Bengal Florican and other threatened species, it will also help our partner have the ability to secure land use rights for the local communities. The Bakan is the last remaining patch of inner-floodplain grassland and traditional deepwater rice cultivation areas for local communities.

With the new protected area, WSC-Cambodia can work to protect the indigenous way of life while mentoring them in sustainable resource use. The proposed Bakan Protected Landscape will play a key role in preventing commercial development from destroying floodplain resources.
Photos: (Above) The Critically Endangered male Bengal Florican, by Nejib Ahmed.; (Below) The Critically Endangered female Bengal Florican, photo courtesy of WCS-Cambodia.


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