Prey Lang – It’s THEIR Forest Too!
Prey Lang’s Biodiversity is rich in unique and endangered ecosystems AND in plant and animal species.
Rare and Unique Ecosystems at Risk
Prey Lang includes as many as seven distinct ecosystems. Lowland dry evergreen forests dominate. The forest then grades through lowland semi-evergreen forests to deciduous forests. It is also inclusive of “riparian” areas or “swamp forests” which are permanently submerged.
All of the forest types warrant some form of protection and sustainable management. Of particular importance are:
- Lowland dry evergreen forest: Once the most common landscape on the Indochinese peninsula, Prey Lang’s extensive expanses of tall diptocarps represent the last large area of lowland dry evergreen forest of its kind. This kind of forest is distinctive from other lowland forests associated with the Cardamom and Elephant ranges in the southwest, and the Annamites to the northeast. It maintains a level of biodiversity that equals of exceeds other lowland areas on the peninsula.
- “Riparian” or swamp forest: Prey Lang’s evergreen swamp forests are unique. There are no other forests exactly like these in all the world. Botanists doing preliminary study in Prey Lang surmise that Prey Lang is a repository for plant and animal species not yet known to science. As such Prey Lang is a treasure of house of potential food and medicinal plants.
The destruction of Prey Lang’s unique and rare ecosystems will help to hasten the demise of endangered species that depend on those habitats.
Prey Lang’s Animal Residents
Prey Lang is known to be the home to as many as 50 threatened species of mammals, birds and reptiles. These include: sun bears, asiatic black bears, forest ox such as gaur and banteng, elephants, tigers, Malayan porcupines, smooth-coated otters, clouded leopards, Northern slow loris, great spotted eagles, white-rumped vultures, Asiatic softshell turtles, and more. Scores of other animals also call the forest home.
Prey Lang’s Rare and Endangered Plants
Prey Lang is home to a huge diversity of plants, including giant hardwood trees, hundreds of years old. The greater forest includes at least 11 threatened tree species and and 19 or the 21 species prioritized for genetic conservation by the CTSP, as well as a diverse array of timber species.