Mam­mals of Cam­bo­dia

Cambodia Insight - - CONTENTS -

Cam­bo­dia is home to a di­verse ar­ray of wildlife. There are 212 mam­mal species, 536 bird species, 176 rep­tile species (in­clud­ing 89 sub­species), 850 fresh­wa­ter fish species (Tonlé Sap Lake area), and 435 marine fish species. Many of the coun­try’s species are rec­og­nized by the IUCN or World Con­ser­va­tion Union as threat­ened, en­dan­gered, or crit­i­cally en­dan­gered. In­ten­sive poach­ing may have al­ready driven Cam­bo­dia’s na­tional an­i­mal, the Kouprey, to ex­tinc­tion, and wild tigers, Eld’s deer, wild water buf­faloes and hog deer are at crit­i­cally low num­bers.

Wildlife in Cam­bo­dia in­cludes dholes, ele­phants, deer (sam­bar, Eld’s deer, hog deer and munt­jac), wild oxen (ban­teng and gaur), pan­thers, bears, and tigers. Cor­morants, cranes, ibises, par­rots, green peafowl, pheas­ants, and wild ducks are also found, and poi­sonous snakes are nu­mer­ous.

Cam­bo­dia has 16 glob­ally en­dan­gered species and two crit­i­cally en­dan­gered species. Some of Cam­bo­dia’s en­dan­gered species are the Asian ele­phant, Siamese croc­o­dile, wild water buf­falo, and the Ger­main’s sil­ver lan­gur. In this is­sue we take a look at some of the more in­ter­est­ing mam­mals of Cam­bo­dia.

A kouprey also known as kouproh, “grey ox”, is a wild, for­est-dwelling bovine species found mainly in north­ern Cam­bo­dia, but also be­lieved to ex­ist in south­ern Laos, western Viet­nam, and eastern Thai­land. It was only in 1937 the kouprey be­came known to zo­ol­o­gists.

A very large un­gu­late, the Kouprey can ap­proach sim­i­lar sizes to the wild Asian water buf­falo. These bovids mea­sure 2.1 to 2.3 m (6.9 to 7.5 ft) along the head and body, and stand 1.7–1.9 m (5.6–6.2 ft) high at the shoul­der. Their weight is re­port­edly from 680 to 910 kg (1,500 to 2,010 lb).

Kouprey have tall, but nar­row, bodies, long legs and humped backs. They can be ei­ther grey, dark brown or black. The horns of the fe­male are lyre­shaped with an­te­lope-like up­ward spi­rals. The horns of the male are wide and arch for­ward and up­ward, and they be­gin to fray at the tips at about three years of age. Both sexes have notched nos­trils and long tails.

Kouprey graze on grasses, in­clud­ing bam­boo. They also spend a lot of their time around salt licks and water holes.

There are es­ti­mated to be fewer than 250 kouprey left in the world.

The Asian golden cat, also called the Asi­atic golden cat and Tem­minck’s cat, is a medium-sized wild cat of SE Asia.

The Asian golden cat is heav­ily built, with a typ­i­cal cat-like ap­pear­ance. It has a head-body length of 66 to 105 cm (26 to 41 in), with a tail 40 to 57 cm (16 to 22 in) long, and is 56 cm (22 in) tall at the shoul­der. The weight ranges from 9 to 16 kg (20 to 35 lb), which is about two or three times that of a do­mes­tic cat.

Asian golden cats are ter­ri­to­rial, soli­tary, and are pri­mar­ily noc­tur­nal. In a study, the male’s ter­ri­tory was 47.7 km2 (18.4 sq mi) in size and in­creased by more than 15% dur­ing the rainy sea­son. The fe­male’s ter­ri­tory was 32.6 square kilo­me­tres (12.6 sq mi) in size.

Asian golden cats can climb trees when nec­es­sary. They hunt birds, hares, ro­dents and rep­tiles, small un­gu­lates such as munt­jacs and young sam­bar deer. They are ca­pa­ble of bring­ing down prey much larger than them­selves, such as do­mes­tic water buf­falo calves.

The Asian or Asi­atic ele­phant is dis­trib­uted in South­east Asia from In­dia in the west to Bor­neo in the east. Asian ele­phants are the largest liv­ing land an­i­mals in Asia.

Since 1986, they have been listed as en­dan­gered by IUCN as the pop­u­la­tion has de­clined by at least 50% over the last three gen­er­a­tions, es­ti­mated to be 60–75 years. Asian ele­phants are pri­mar­ily threat­ened by degra­da­tion, frag­men­ta­tion and loss of habi­tat, and poach­ing. In 2003, the wild pop­u­la­tion was es­ti­mated at be­tween 41,410 and 52,345 in­di­vid­u­als.

In gen­eral, the Asian ele­phant is smaller than the African ele­phant and has the high­est body point on the head. The back is con­vex or level. The ears are smaller than the African ele­phant. It has up to

20 pairs of ribs and 34 cau­dal ver­te­brae. The feet have more nail-like struc­tures than those of African ele­phants—five on each fore­foot, and four on each hind foot.

As is com­mon with large an­i­mals, the di­men­sions of the Asian ele­phant are of­ten ex­ag­ger­ated. On average, the shoul­der height of males rarely ex­ceeds 2.7 m (9 ft) and that of the fe­males, 2.4 m (8 ft). Average height of fe­males is 2.24 m (7.3 ft), and average weight 2.72 t (3.00 short tons) rarely ex­ceed­ing 4.16 t (4.59 short tons). Large bulls weigh up to 5.4 t (6.0 short tons) and are 3.2 m (10 ft) at the shoul­der. Length of body and head in­clud­ing trunk is 5.5–6.5 m (18–21 ft) with the tail be­ing 1.2–1.5 m (3.9–4.9 ft) long.

The largest bull ele­phant ever recorded was found in In­dia in 1924. It weighed 8 tonnes (8.8 short tons), stood 3.35 m (11 ft) tall at the shoul­ders and was 8.06 m (26.4 ft) long from head to tail. There have been re­ports of much larger in­di­vid­u­als as tall as 3.7 m (12 ft).

Three sub­species are rec­og­nized:

The Sri Lankan ele­phant oc­curs in Sri Lanka.

The In­dian ele­phant oc­curs in main­land Asia: Bhutan, Cam­bo­dia, China, In­dia, Laos, Malay Penin­sula, Myan­mar, Nepal, Thai­land, Viet­nam.

The Su­ma­tran ele­phant oc­curs only in Su­ma­tra.

They con­sume up to 150 kg (330 lb) of plant matter per day. They are gen­er­al­ist feed­ers, and both graz­ers and browsers. They browse more in the dry sea­son with bark con­sti­tut­ing a ma­jor part of their diet in the cool part of that sea­son. They need 80–200 litres of water a day and use even more for bathing. At times, they scrape the soil for clay or nec­es­sary min­er­als.

The red-shanked douc is a species of Old World mon­key, among the most colour­ful of all pri­mates. This mon­key is some­times called the “cos­tumed ape” for its ex­trav­a­gant ap­pear­ance. From its knees to its an­kles it sports ma­roon-red “stock­ings”, and it ap­pears to wear white fore­arm length gloves. Its at­tire is fin­ished with black hands and feet. The golden face is framed

by a white ruff, which is con­sid­er­ably fluffier in males. The eye­lids are a soft pow­der blue. The tail is white with a tri­an­gle of white hair at the base. Males of all ages have a white spot on both sides of the cor­ners of the rump patch, and red and white gen­i­tals.

The word “douc” (pro­nounced ‘dook’) is a Viet­namese word mean­ing “mon­key”. The douc is an ar­bo­real and di­ur­nal mon­key that eats and sleeps in the trees of the for­est.

Like other doucs, the red-shanked douc is a long, slen­der mon­key. The male has an average head and body length of 61 cm (24 in), and the fe­male av­er­ages 54.5 cm (21.5 in) long, with a tail that mea­sures 55.8–76.2 cm (22.0–30.0 in) long. Males weigh on average 11 kg (24 lb), and fe­males 8.44 kilo­grams (18.6 lb). There is a slight dif­fer­ence in rump mark­ings be­tween gen­ders: the male has round white spots above the tri­an­gle of white on its rump, while the fe­male does not.

All doucs are na­tive to South­east Asia, specif­i­cally Cam­bo­dia, China, Laos and Viet­nam. The hog badger is a ter­res­trial mustelid (think badgers, weasels, fer­rets, and wolver­ines), that is wide­spread in Cen­tral and South­east Asia. It is listed as Near Threat­ened in the IUCN Red List of Threat­ened Species as its oc­cur­rence is patchy.

It has medium-length brown hair, stocky body, white throat, two black stripes on an elon­gated white face and a pink, pig-like snout. The headand-body length is 55–70 cm (22–28 in), the tail mea­sures 12–17 cm (4.7–6.7 in) and the body weight is 7–14 kg (15–31 lb).

Its ap­pear­ance gen­er­ally re­sem­bles the Euro­pean badger, but it is gen­er­ally smaller, with larger claws on the front feet. Its tail has long white hairs, and its front feet have white claws.

Eld’s deer, also known as the thamin or brow-antlered deer, is an en­dan­gered species of deer in­dige­nous to South­east Asia.

The fol­low­ing mea­sure­ments have been re­ported

Head–body length: 150–180 cm (59–71 in) Shoul­der height: 110–125 cm (43–49 in) Tail length: 20–30 cm (8–12 in) Weight: 125–175 kg (276–386 lb) Antler length: 99 cm (39 in)

The deer are gen­er­ally of medium size and are sim­i­lar to the size and shape of the baras­ingha. The species has a very re­gal and grace­ful Cervus physique. Its legs are thin and long, and has a long body with a large head on a thin neck. The throat of a male has a thick mane of long hair. Males (stags) are taller and heav­ier than the fe­males (hinds or does). Their coats, rough and coarse, change colour with the sea­son; in sum­mer the colour is red­dish-brown, while in winter, it turns dark brown, with males tend­ing to be darker than the fe­males. The tail is short in length and the rump has no dis­tinct patch.

De­spite these fea­tures, they are ac­tu­ally re­lated to the Père David’s deer.the antlers, bow- or lyre­shaped, do not grow up­wards, but tend to grow out­wards and then in­wards; a smaller branch grows to­wards the front of the head. The brow tines are espe­cially long and no­tice­able. The brow-antlered deer is so named be­cause they have long brow tines. On sched­ule they shed their antlers ev­ery year, with the largest size at­tained dur­ing the breed­ing sea­son.

Asian Golden


Adult Asian Ele­phant with calf



The ma­jes­tic Kouprey

Ju­ve­nile Asian Ele­phants

Asian Golden Cat

Red-shanked Douc

Red-shanked Douc

Hog Badger


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