Locals raising funds for wildlife watering holes

A young banteng spotted near the Kampong Speu community. Photo supplied

Phak Seangly, The Phnom Penh Post
Thu, 5 January 2017

A Kampong Speu community is looking to raise money to build three watering holes for wildlife, especially the endangered banteng, for the upcoming hot season after a nearby sugarcane plantation allegedly filled in existing streams.

The Prambei community in the province’s Thpong district launched a campaign on Monday to raise $4,500 to build three ponds after villagers alleged that tenants of the controversial sugar company, Phnom Penh Sugar, filled close to 50 natural streams, reducing watering options for wildlife. “In the sugarcane plantation, they filled it all, and that leads to the lack of water,” said Soeun Lay, head of the community. “It is then hard for the animals to survive.”

Phnom Penh Sugar’s director, Seng Nhak, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Provincial Governor Keav Leangkea, however, denied that the company had filled the streams, attributing the water scarcity solely to last year’s drought.

“With regards to filling the river, we have inspected it, but it seems not to be filled. The company also wants the water for the sugarcane,” he said.

Liv Sarum, another community member, said more than 700 families were attempting to raise the money and had so far raised $300 from a group of students. He added that the filling of the streams had compounded the effects of the drought.

“Last year, there was no water. In the past, there was enough water, but now [the former stream] has become the sugarcane plantation.”

Posted on: January 4, 2017 8:24 pm

Tree squirrel are terrific climbers

Squirrels are familiar to almost everyone. More than 200 squirrel species live all over the world, with the notable exception of Australia.

The tiniest squirrel is the aptly named African pygmy squirrel—only five inches (thirteen centimeters) long from nose to tail. Others reach sizes shocking to those who are only familiar with common tree squirrels. The Indian giant squirrel is three feet (almost a meter) long.

Like other rodents, squirrels have four front teeth that never stop growing so they don’t wear down from the constant gnawing. Tree squirrels are the types most commonly recognized, often seen gracefully scampering and leaping from branch to branch. Other species are ground squirrels that live in burrow or tunnel systems, where some hibernate during the winter season.

Ground squirrels eat nuts, leaves, roots, seeds, and other plants. They also catch and eat small animals, such as insects and caterpillars. These small mammals must always be wary of predators because they are tasty morsels with few natural defenses, save flight. Sometimes groups of ground squirrels work together to warn each other of approaching danger with a whistling call.

Tree squirrels are commonly seen everywhere from woodlands to city parks. Though they are terrific climbers, these squirrels do come to the ground in search of fare such as nuts, acorns, berries, and flowers. They also eat bark, eggs, or baby birds. Tree sap is a delicacy to some species.

Flying squirrels are a third, adaptable type of squirrel. They live something like birds do, in nests or tree holes, and although they do not fly, they can really move across the sky. Flying squirrels glide, extending their arms and legs and coasting through the air from one tree to another. Flaps of skin connecting limbs to body provide a winglike surface. These gliding leaps can exceed 150 feet (46 meters). Flying squirrels eat nuts and fruit, but also catch insects and even baby birds. (more…)

Posted on: October 13, 2015 7:15 am

An animal’s eyes have the power to speak

God loved the birds and invented trees. Man loved the birds and invented cages. ~Jacques Deval

A sun bear takes a nap in one of Free The Bears’ hammocks at the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center near Phnom Penh. Photo by Erika Pineros.

 

Posted on: October 9, 2015 9:49 am

Hungry puppy

A puppy does not begin trying to walk until as early as 2 weeks and as late as 5 weeks old – They do not automatically know how to walk, they stumble and fall down just like toddlers do. Out of the 5 senses: touch, taste, smell, hearing and seeing, a puppy first experiences touch. At about 6 weeks old, a dam will start encouraging her pups to venture out and slowly become more independent. Source: The dog fact information center

Posted on: October 3, 2015 1:17 pm