The Eastern Plains Landscape of the Dry Forest Ecoregion of Cambodia harbours a huge diversity of wildlife.
Historically renowned for its abundance of wild forest cattle, the area was once a stronghold for species such as tigers and elephants as well. However, decades of conflict, poaching and neglect have left the wildlife populations decimated and many are now facing extinction.

Now WWF is working to save the remaining tigers and elephants of the dry forests, as well as the prey species on which the tiger depends.

Whilst the camera trap work in the area has focused on recording the elephant and tiger populations, a wide variety of other species have also been documented.
Indo-Chinese tiger
Dispersed widely throughout seven countries (China, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Lao PDR, Cambodia and Vietnam), the Indo-Chinese tiger probably numbers less than 1500.
Tiger caught in a camera trap, eastern Cambodia. Srepok Wildnerness Area (SWA) - Januray 2006. Only the 2nd ever tiger caught on film by a camera trap in this area. © WWF Cambodia /SWA Project Staff

It is mostly found in lowland and highland tropical deciduous, semi-evergreen and evergreen forests.

The key menace is direct poaching of both tiger and its prey. Although extensive habitat is available in some landscapes, fragmentation driven by rapid development - especially road networks - is forcing tigers into scattered, small refuges that isolate the populations and increase accessibility for poachers.

Find out more about the Indo-Chinese tiger

Asian elephant
Although many thousands of domesticated Asian elephants are found in Southeast Asia, this magnificent animal is threatened by extinction in the wild: in the face of rapidly growing human populations, the Asian elephant's habitat is shrinking fast.
A camera trap captures an elephant's attention. A few camera traps are destroyed each year by camera shy elephants, but WWF has been relatively lucky to have lost so few © WWF-Cambodia/DNCP/FA

Wild elephant populations are mostly small, isolated, and unable to join as ancient migratory routes are cut off by human settlements. Confrontations between elephants and people often lead to deaths on both sides, and poaching for ivory, meat and hides is still a widespread problem.

Find out more about the Asian elephant

Wild water buffaloes in Srepok
In eastern Cambodia, the WWF Srepok Wilderness Area Project (SWAP) is proving that the area is an exceptional refuge for endangered wildlife.
One of three wild buffaloes caught on film in the Srepok Wilderness Area in Cambodia. © WWF Indochina

Camera traps set up in the wilderness area have recorded a series of photos of the critically endangered wild water buffalo. The images are the first since a single photo was taken in 2001 by a joint survey conducted by the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Cat Action Treasury.

The wild water buffaloes in Srepok comprise the last remaining population in all of Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and eastern Thailand. Although the situation is serious in terms of population numbers, it is believed that the resident population – estimated at 30-50 animals – now at least stands a chance of survival.