From the 5th to the 9th of December 2022, Sam Veasna Conservation Tour (SVC) bird guides Mardy Sean and Hat Huon conducted bird guide training for the local guides of Jahoo, one of the main ecotourism sites in the heart of Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary.
Jahoo is one of the key ecotourism sites in Cambodia to see some of South-East Asia’s endangered wildlife species in the wild including; Southern Yellow-cheeked Crested Gibbon and Black Shanked Douc Langur. However, the forests of Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary are home to many incredible bird species including Green Peafowl, Germains Peacock Pheasant, Bar-bellied Pitta and more.
Jahoo already has an incredible stable of local guides from the Bunong people that reside in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary who understand the forests better than anyone on the planet. SVC’s job was to assist in giving these guides extra birding knowledge and techniques to be used for tours at Jahoo as well as additional conservation activities.
This bird guide training was conducted with three components;
1) Advance Bird Guide Training.
This included early starts with Hong and Sala, two guides who already had good birding knowledge and had taken part in previous training with SVC. This primarily focused on following up on existing knowledge, practising advanced bird identification and teaching advanced birding techniques such as callback.
An additional part of this training was about the expectations of bird guides by birders who would visit Jahoo including identifying the best positions to see certain birds and even taking photos through scopes to confirm the identification of certain species.
2) Classroom Work
SVC provide Khmer language training materials and presentations for advanced and beginner bird guides. This included visual diagrams of bird features that help in identification as well as detailed features and pictures of key species in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary.
3) Search for Germain’s Peacock Pheasant and Green Peafowl
These birds are two of the top target species for birders in Mondulkiri. SVC helped look for these species with the Jahoo guides, identified possible new sites and taught them the key signs to watch out for in the future.
Really great week!
Lessons were focused, engaging and challenging for the team. Field birding reinforced the lessons from the classroom and the morning sessions were really targeted! It also looks like we’ve found a spot for green peafowl to develop for guests.
We even heard a Germain peacock pheasant in Jahoo area…
All goals and objectives delivered! Great week indeed! Looking forward to your next visit!
This week was fantastic with great progress from all the guides and additional sites discovered for future birding tours in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary. SVC will have a week of training at Jahoo in April or May so we looking forward to following up on the knowledge taught to the guides on this trip.
Gibbon watching, forest hiking and a sacred jungle waterfall.
Starting at dawn you’ll track down our family of habituated Gibbons through the dense rainforest with wildlife researchers. Learn from the experts as you observe these endangered apes as they swing in the forest canopy above. Breakfast at the Bamboo Camp before returning to the forest to trek deeper into the heart of the Wildlife Sanctuary to a remote jungle waterfall.
Seeing the forest through the eyes of your indigenous guide, spot other rare wildlife including endangered primates such as black-shanked douc langur, and discover traces of more elusive animals like Asian elephants. Help your guide forage in the forest and cook a traditional Bunong soup over a campfire at the waterfall. Take a nap in a hammock and swim in the natural pool and feel rejuvenated before searching for more forest wildlife before being returned to your guesthouse.
Experience the Wildlife Sanctuary at night at the iconic Bamboo Camp, search for wild gibbons as they sing their dawn chorus and witness indigenous forest knowledge.
Experience the jungle by night and observe the shy and mysterious nocturnal creatures whilst sleeping in comfort at the unique Bamboo Camp
Wake up to the eerie call of the endangered yellow-cheeked crested gibbon before joining them in the forest at sunrise
Trek through lush rainforest spotting rare black-shanked douc-langurs and encountering other unique forest wildlife
An immersive journey into forest protection, endangered wildlife and indigenous culture.
Escape to nature and dedicate some time to relax in comfort at the unique Bamboo Camp where you can enjoy true wilderness soothed by the sounds of the jungle whilst enjoying delicious Bunong cuisine and local produce.
Explore the evergreen forest, sacred waterfalls, traditional Bunong farms and little-known remnants of historical conflicts, such as the site of a US Army base, deep in the heart of the Wildlife Sanctuary, whilst spotting spectacular wildlife.
Immerse yourself in indigenous forest culture, learn traditional forest skills from your local Bunong guide, hear about legends, history and folklore from an elder around the campfire and help a local farmer collect resin from his ancestral resin trees, an ancient and remarkable Bunong practice.