Cambodia is a Southeast Asian nation with a rich biodiversity featuring 212 mammalian species, 240 reptilian species, 536 species of avians, 850 species of freshwater and 435 species of marine fish, and more. The national parks of the country serve to protect the flora and fauna of the country. Such parks also protect the natural resources of Cambodia. The seven national parks of Cambodia are as follows:
7. Ream National Park
This national park was established in 1993 with the aim of protecting the precious natural resources of the country. It is located in south-eastern Cambodia’s Sihanoukville Province. The Ream National Park is endowed with great natural beauty and rich biodiversity. Its landscape features mangroves, estuaries, beaches, rivers, and forests. The park encompasses an area of 210 square km that includes both terrestrial and marine habitats. Rhesus monkeys, dolphins, Sarus cranes, pelicans, etc., are some of the notable species found here. Around 30,000 people live at the fringes of the Ream National Park and are largely dependent on the park for their livelihood.
6. Virachey National Park
Spanning an area of 3,325 square km, this national park is one of Cambodia’s top priority protected areas due to its rich biodiversity and natural resources. The Virachey National Park encompasses parts of the Stung Treng and Ratanakiri Provinces in the north-east of the country. It is one of the two protected areas of Cambodia that are listed under ASEAN Heritage Parks. The park hosts one of the deepest, isolated, and largely unexplored forests of Cambodia. A wide variety of vegetation is found here and the elevation is usually above 1,500 meters in most parts of the park. The Virachey is, however, highly threatened by illegal logging activities that are prevalent in the area.
5. Preah Monivong National Park
This national park is located in southern Cambodia’s Kampot Province. The park constitutes the southeastern section of the Cardamom Mountains and most parts of the park have an elevation of about 1,000 m. The 1,081 m tall Phnom Bokor is the tallest peak in this national park. The Preah Monivong covers an area of 1,400 square km and was established in 1993. Presently, the park is a popular tourist destination in Cambodia and houses a large luxury hotel. The country’s tallest statue of Lok Yeay Mao, a mythic heroine, is also present here.
4. Kep National Park
This national park, also founded in 1993, is located in Cambodia’s Kep region where it encompasses an area of 50 square km. The national park boasts of numerous tracks and trails that offer tourists magnificent views of the surrounding forests and mountains. The Bokor Ranges and Phu Quoc can be viewed from the park. The Gulf of Thailand is also visible from this national park.
3. Phnom Kulen National Park
This Cambodian national park is located in the Siem Reap Province where it is part of the Phnom Kulen mountain massif. The national park has a number of tourist spots that attract tourists to the park in large numbers. For example, the Kbal Spean is an archeological site with religious monuments carved into the rocks of a riverbed and banks. The Preah Ang Thom is an 8 m tall reclining Buddha statue located in the park. It is carved into a massive sandstone. The national park also has beautiful waterfalls, rivers, and abundant wildlife.
2. Kirirom National Park
Established in 1993 and covering an area of 350 square km, the Kirirom National Park is a Cambodian national park covering parts of the Kampong Speu and Koh Kong provinces of Cambodia. The park has a mountainous landscape since it encompasses parts of eastern Cardamom Mountains. The national park is located at an elevation of 675 m above sea level. The park features a number of footpaths passing through the forested landscape that includes lakes and waterfalls.
1. Botum Sakor National Park
The 1,712.5 square km national park of Cambodia is the largest national park in the country. It is located on the Gulf of Thailand’s coast and covers the peninsula projecting from the Cardamom Mountains in the southwest direction. Evergreen grasslands and woodlands in the park’s interiors are gradually replaced by swamps and mangroves towards the coast. The biodiversity of the Botum Sakor is unique and features more than 44 species of mammals like the Sunda pangolin, the pileated gibbon, Bengal slow loris, the Indochinese tiger, and more. Many of the species found here are highly threatened and need strict protection. The park also has a rich bird life including several hundred species of birds. Insects, reptiles, amphibians are also abundant in the national park. Illegal logging, poaching, habitat destruction, etc., threaten the biodiversity of the Botum Sakor National Park.
About the Author
Oishimaya is an Indian native, currently residing in Kolkata. She has earned her Ph.D. degree and is presently engaged in full-time freelance writing and editing. She is an avid reader and travel enthusiast and is sensitively aware of her surroundings, both locally and globally. She loves mingling with people of eclectic cultures and also participates in activities concerning wildlife conservation.
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