In Cambodia, there are a lot of protected wildlife sites, one of the main ones being the Seima Mixed Evergreen Protected Forest. This is a seasonal rainforest that is teeming with wildlife, with nearly 1000 species recorded as living in the region.
This has thousands of animal and plant species that you will not find anywhere else in the world. These include Titania’s woolly bat, the Indochinese thick-thumbed bat, the O’Reang horned frog, Mouhot’s litter frog, and the Red-eyed green pit viper.
So what can you find in the Seima Mixed Evergreen Protected Forest? What kind of plants? What breeds of birds, mammals, reptiles, and insects? Are there any tours of this site? Well, we have everything that you need to know about this protected area of the world, so let’s get stuck in.
Where Is The Seima Mixed Evergreen Protected Forest?
This protected rainforest area is found in the Southeast region of Cambodia, on the border with Vietnam. There are two different seasons that characterize this area as well as the whole of Cambodia, and those are the wet and dry seasons.
The wildlife sanctuary itself is between 60 and 750 meters above sea level, the Northwest part of the reserve forming part of Cambodia’s Eastern Plains and the edge of the Annamite Range and the Sen Monorom Plateau.
There are many different types of forests that can be found here, including tropical evergreen, semi-evergreen, deciduous and dipterocarp forests.
This latter type of forest is home to many protected species and is a form of lowland tree that is often used for nesting.
The wet season usually lasts between April and October and this area usually experienced between 2,200 and 2,800 millimeters of rainfall per year.
The protected area covers more than the Seima Evergreen Forest region and incorporates Prek Te and the Prek Chhlong watersheds, both of which are very important ecological sites.
What Species Of Animals Can You Find In The Seima Mixed Evergreen Protected Forest?
This area is extremely biodiverse. It has 959 species of animals and plants, with 356 bird species, the highest number for any one country in any online database. This comes with 21 species of woodpecker alone, again, a record high for any one country’s database.
There are plenty of rare animals that you can find here also. Here is a list of some of the most unique, exotic, and unfortunately under-threat species in the Seima Mixed Evergreen Protected Forest:
This is a species of douc that is a member of the primate family. They are small and distinctive looking, with a black coat on its neck that extends down to its back. It also has a blue face with yellow rings around the eyes.
This species is currently listed as ‘critically endangered’, which is 2 stages away from extinction. This creature usually moves in units of around 7 or 8, led by one single male that courts the 6 or 7 females. There are 25,000 of these in the Seima Forest.
This is a very striking creature, with strawberry-blonde fur that turns black as they get older. As of 2020, there were only 1430 individual yellow-cheeked gibbons recorded as living in the Seima Forest, although numbers remain stable.
They live for around 46 years and you can recognize them by their distinctive cry that they usually use in the morning. They normally eat fruits that they forage from the tropical forests where they live.
This is a brown-antlered deer that is found in areas in South Asia and Southeast Asia. They are described as medium-sized deer with long thin legs and a larger head on a slender neck. The male can be distinguished by a thick mane around the throat.
These animals are relatively solitary and will largely spend time with their mate and young. However, during the breeding seasons, this deer has been known to gather together in groups of 50 or more. It is estimated the numbers are in the low tens in areas of Cambodia.
This is a large bovine creature that can be found in Southern parts of Asia. It is estimated that the number of these creatures is around 21,000 globally, with most of them being found in India. There has been a significant decrease in numbers over the last 3 decades.
This bull-like animal has large horns on the head with an indentation in the center of the skull. They have very brown fur, which becomes darker as they grow older.
They can usually be found in evergreen forests, where they feed on grass, bamboo, shrubs, and trees.
Altogether there are around 75 species that live in this protected forest that are considered endangered or critically endangered.
What Else Can You Find In Seima Protected Forest?
This forest is also home to a large ethnic group that is known as the Bunong. They were the first indigenous group of people that received a collective land title under the Cambodian 2001 land law. There have been a few cases of land grabs that have been taken to court.
This land is used by the Bunong for agriculture, mainly to harvest things like rice, rubber, cashew, and resin. These are either used by the Bunong themselves or traded for other items. Altogether there are 11 tribes in this area that have been awarded land rights.
What Threats Face The Seima Protected Forest?
There are large areas of this forest being decimated, mainly involving large-scale projects like road building, rubber harvesting, mining, and laying of electric power cables. There is also a lot of illegal logging that occurs on the border with Vietnam.
Hopefully, this article has taught you something about this incredibly rich and biologically diverse region.
Sadly, this place is the last refuge of so many endangered species and is under frequent attack from large mining and logging companies, which threaten both animals and indigenous communities.