Nature's Marvel: 700 Fascinating Wild Creatures Discovered in Cambodian Mangroves!

Nature's Marvel: 700 Fascinating Wild Creatures Discovered in Cambodian Mangroves!
Image by

In a recent study of Cambodian mangroves, biologists were stunned by an extraordinary discovery. The meticulous research in Cambodia revealed that these mangroves are home to approximately 700 different species of wildlife.

Studies conducted in two nature reserves in Cambodia, Peam Krasop and Koh Kapik, have identified species ranging from bats to insects. Fascinating findings such as fur-nosed otters, large-spotted civets and unique bats were highlighted in a survey sponsored by Fauna & Flora International.

Stefanie Rog, leader of the survey team whose report was released on Sunday, revealed that although they identified 700 species in the mangroves, they believe this is only a fraction of the true biodiversity. Rog is confident that further exploration of the area will reveal ten times as many species.

The research also highlights the crucial role of mangroves as breeding grounds for fish such as barracuda and grouper. Their presence is vital to local fishermen and the fishing industry. In addition, mangroves provide protection from tsunamis and efficiently absorb carbon, contributing significantly to climate change mitigation efforts.

Mangroves are a unique network of forests that grow along tropical and subtropical coastlines where land availability is often limited. Their presence is critical because these trees thrive in salty water, unlike most other plants. Unfortunately, the world has lost 40% of its mangroves in recent decades due to land clearing for beach resorts or agriculture. However, the remaining mangroves provide vital habitat for many valuable species.

In addition to protecting from tsunamis and storms, mangroves are efficient carbon sequestrators. They also provide a safe haven for a variety of fascinating wildlife. These discoveries have been made using sophisticated techniques such as camera traps, nets, population estimates of fish and insects, and "transect" surveys, which examine the landscape in a straight line.

In research conducted in Cambodian mangroves, the fishing cat, Prionailurus viverrinus, was discovered, drawing attention with its slightly larger size than domestic cats. They have strong bodies with short legs and uniquely, are expert swimmers with webbed claws to catch fish and rodents. They use stealth tactics among the mangrove roots before ambushing their prey.

With the support of the Fishing Cat Ecological Enterprise, this study also found the presence of 74 species of fish and 150 species of birds in the mangrove ecosystem. Of these, 15 species are classified as endangered or critically endangered according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

In older mangroves, the researchers also successfully photographed another interesting find, the hairy-nosed otter, using camera traps. Lutra sumatrana, its scientific name, uses its nose fur to detect prey such as crustaceans, mollusks and other creatures. These otters are the rarest in Asia and, unfortunately, nearly extinct.

Thank you for reading until here