• Cambodia: Fishing cats and mangroves at Prey Nup

  • Scott Hecker

    Cambodia: Fishing cats and mangroves at Prey Nup

  • Cambodia: Fishing cats and mangroves at Prey Nup

In Brief

Conservation Value:

The Fishing Cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN and has a small, declining and fragmented population.  Since 2021, the Fishing Cat Ecological Enterprise (FCEE) has been working with local volunteers and landowners who have a long-standing interest in protecting the Prey Nup mangroves. The team deployed camera-traps throughout the largest areas of mangroves and this documented an important population of fishing cats and the first footage of fishing cat kittens in Cambodia (three litters).  Also recorded was the Vulnerable Smooth-coated Otter (Lutrogale perspicillata).  Local colleagues have recorded over 130 species of birds in the area, with recent sightings of the Vulnerable Lesser Adjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus). FCEE's rapid survey of mangrove flora recorded 40 plant species, with most areas showing mature forest characteristics of high diversity and complexity.


Poaching of Fishing Cats and cutting and fragmentation of mangrove forest are key threats.  Concerning observations include poachers using guns in the area and nets to catch birds on the boundaries between mangroves and rice fields. Land encroachment and Illegal clearing of mangroves occurs on a small scale as well as selective cutting of mangrove trees within the forest. Crab and shrimp ponds are being developed within and around the mangrove area without measures to mitigate the environmental impact.

Actions & Results:

Project Activities:

  1. Systematic biodiversity surveys and wildlife and mangrove forest monitoring;
  2. Engaging local stakeholders with meetings and workshops to discuss and seek local approval for the proposed establishment of the area as Ramsar Site;
  3. Contributing to local management plans and conducting conservation activities including patrolling and law enforcement;
  4. Pursuing a carbon credit initiative;
  5. Putting forward a proposal with the Ministry of Environment for the designation as Ramsar Site.


The Prey Nup mangrove forest is situated in Tuol Totueng commune, Prey Nup district, Sihanoukville province, along the delta of Preaek Kampong Smach river, within the Stung Kampong Smach Key Biodiversity Area (KBA).


To conserve a significant population of the Fishing Cat and achieve RAMSAR status for the Prey Nup mangrove forest.

Project Field Partner:

Our partner is the Fishing Cat Ecological Enterprise


2024 budget: US$10,000.

Size of Area Involved:

3,288 hectares

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Click to enlarge an image

Mangrove forest by scott hecker
Screenshot 2024-03-20 at 4.04.38Ypm
Fishing cat kathyrn majors
Setting camera traps by scott hecker
Exploring prey nup by scott hecker
Mangrove canopy by scott hecker
Mangrove restoration nursery by scott hecker
Prey nup mangroves

In More Depth...

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