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Flora and Fauna

Flora and FaunaThe Climate of Cambodia

Cambodia is located in a tropical climate zone, so the country's climate is mainly humid and hot. In the capital of the kingdom - Phnom Penh, the average annual temperature here is about + 28 C and the average temperature of the coolest month (December) of about + 26 C. There are two main seasons for this: a very wet summer (most of the season) and relatively dry winter. This separation is due to the monsoons, which twice in a year change their direction. Starting from November to April, the monsoons bring to Cambodia from the mainland the flows of dry hot air, which almost do not have any precipitations. Moistening of various regions of the Kingdom of Cambodia is not the same. So Kravan Mountains (the local name of  Cardamom Mountains) and the area along the coast of the kingdom receive about 3000 mm of rainfall throughout the year, and the plain territories in turn are lucky to get from 750 to 1500 mm. It is because the duration of the dry period in the plains sometimes takes up to 6 months. 

Water resources in Cambodia

Flora and FaunaThe Kingdom of Cambodia has a lot of rivers. Mainly these are the tributaries of the Mekong. The rivers that flow into the Gulf of Thailand are short and have a lot of rapids, but their role in the life of Cambodia is small. Of great importance is the Mekong river - the main artery of the kingdom. After the floods the Mekong leaves on its shores, a layer of fertile silt, in addition to a lot of different fish in the river - one of the main products that feed the population of Cambodia. In addition, the Mekong plays a very important vehicle value. In Cambodia, the water level of the Mekong in the kingdom's capital Phnom Penh, during the period when the monsoon rains come, rises to the level of 7 to 9 meters. Leaving the coast, Mekong waters fill the numerous lakes and lowlands and rush across the river Sap into the Great lake. At a time when there is a flood of the rivers and lakes, all low-lying central part of the Kingdom of Cambodia becomes a huge lake. When the monsoon rains cease and the summer melting of snow in the mountains of Tibet stops, the water level in the Mekong falls lower than the level of water in the GreatLake. Then the water from Sap is again sent to the Mekong. But in the dry season, the water level is significantly reduced even in large rivers.    

Flora of Cambodia

A smaller part of the territory of Cambodia is covered with woodlands, which play a very important role in the agriculture of the kingdom. Both mountain areas - Krayvan and Dangrek – are covered with very thick and evergreen tropical forests. Also these forests are characterized by very rich composition, scientists count up to 10,000 species of plants. Typical representatives of such dense forests are dipterocarpaceae, ficeae, myrtle, mulberry and other families. Very valuable species of trees are also growing here, such as Shorea robusta, rosewood, mahogany and sandalwood. In the lofty plateau, where there is a cooler climate, the area is covered by small coniferous forests. Coast of the Gulf of Thailand is covered with a strip of mangroves. The vegetation covering the Cambodia has changed significantly as a result of human activities. Alluvial plains covered in the past by evergreen lush and deciduous forests, at the moment are the same type of savanna with small private groves of bananas or papaya, and rare plantations of rubber trees or teak.

Flora and Fauna – 2nd PartContinuing the story we would like to finish the topic of the flora of Cambodia and then move on to the overview of the wild life. The flora of the country is not experiencing the best times right now. In the mountainous areas of eastern Cambodia the slash and - burn agriculture is practiced. Under his influence in the burnt and abandoned sites of soil, there is the so-called woody shrub vegetation. This secondary vegetation occupies a considerable area in the piedmont plains and in areas of settled agriculture. Therefore difficult situation of the flora of the country had also affected the wild life of Cambodia.   

Fauna of Cambodia

Flora and Fauna – 2nd PartThe fauna of Cambodia is mainly dominated by forest animals. In the Mekong River and its tributaries are most crocodiles. Also, Cambodia is rich in waterfowl.

The deciduous forests and savannas of Kampuchea are well represented by animals of the family of Cervidae: marsh deer, fallow deer, antelope, roe deer, including Asian red deer, Asian big deer (deer Aristotle). Ubiquitous mammals such as otters, rats, pangolin (lizard), fruit bats. Everywhere in the forests you can easily meet numerous members of the monkey families. The rivers and along the banks of lakes are inhabited by various reptiles: many kinds of lizards and turtles. In the Mekong, as well as in the muddy rivers of Tonle Sap are crocodiles, reaching 6.5 m in length. Very numerous species of snakes, especially poisonous, are also found here, which only in the vicinity of Phnom Penh number up to 30 species.   

The abundance of birds is also very surprising. The forests are inhabited by the chicken family: wild chickens, peacocks, pheasants, partridges, quails. In the impenetrable dense of forests of mountain areas lives quite rare but very beautiful blue pheasan;, cranes are found in the valleys with ash-gray tint of plumage and bright red crest. There are also lots of carnivorous birds - eagles, harriers, hawks, vultures, owls, vultures, buzzards and other. Among the insect-eating birds are common swallows, starlings, thrushes anddoves. The symbol of Cambodian forests are green and yellow parrots, green pigeons, gray doves with pearl rim on the neck and very small bird flies, which can be hidden in a wild flower. Next to the lake Tonle Sap are found numerous long-legged birds: lapwings, plovers, shepherds, water hens, cranes, storks (with large black-and-white plumage to the light gray), as well as herons of ash, white and purple color. Lots of water birds that hunt fish: mandarin duck, living in large flocks along the banks of ponds, marsh sandpiper, a huge marabou, whose plumage is very much appreciated, cormorants, pelicans, that every year build their nests in the nearby woods.

Wildlife Cambodia, once regarded as the "green paradise" in the last decade, is rapidly dwindling. Because of the destruction of forests, many species have disappeared, devoid of natural habitats. Even so common twenty years ago, animals like elephant, civet, gaur, wild buffalo, bamboo rat, shrew, mole are becoming very rare.

A small advice. If you plan to travel around Cambodia, don’t forget to take a portable refrigerator to cool down you drinks and keep some food.

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