The land of the Giant Ibis & White-shouldered Ibis
Why visit Tmatboey
Tmatboey (TB) is a flagship birding site, situated in the Northern Plains, within the Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary. It is approximately 200 km northeast of Siem Reap. This area is one of the key sites for the critically endangered Giant Ibis and the White-shouldered Ibis. The conservation project at Tmatboey was set up by the Cambodian Ministry of Environment, conservation NGOs, and the community itself.
Tmatboey is one of the best birding places in Cambodia. It has an bundant of DDF bird species of over 200 species in the area.
The video shows the best result achieved in May 2020), after the pond modification project started in May 2019 in Tmatboey. Many species of birds, including the Giant Ibis and White-shouldered Ibis, came to the pond for feeding during the dry season.
Culture & Local Life
Tmatboey is the village of indigenous Kuay who are the expert of blacksmith of Angkor Empire. The people continue living in this remote village from many centuries till Khmer Rouge time and development was brought in early 2008. The conservation effort began in 2006 by Ministry of Environment and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in partnership with local government and villagers.
The main economy of this village is agriculture with organic method enforced by Ibis Rice project under WCS. These farmers inherited the way of life from their ancestors e.g. let their livestock foraging the forest in dry season, using plants as home remedy and medicines, collection of wild mushroom and other non timber forest products, fishing from wild natural pond called Trapeang. Modern Health Care Center is about 15 km from the village with good access but people rarely go for this service because of their strong belief in their culture.
Kids goes to schools in the village for free and there are primary school and secondary school in this village. CBGA conduct environmental education program with schools in this village to promote the climate change adaptation and care of environment and wildlife to school kids every year with funding from ecotourism project it generates.
In term of visitor limitation, it is recommended to contact Cambodia Bird Guide Association (CBGA) before the arrival or in the office in Siem Reap for logistics and preparation.
Birdwatching in this area will use 4×4 vehicles to get around with maximum walk of 3 km through Dry Dipterocarp Forest.
Tmatboey is famous for the critically endangered species of White-shouldered Ibis and Giant Ibis - a national bird of Cambodia. This is the only village you may see both species while others can only see one of the two. The village guides can also show many other species e.g. at least 7 species of Woodpeckers and 3 species of Owls in the day time.
There are around 300 visitors visiting this place every year including the professional birding tour companies across continents with around 30K of income generated from this ecotourism project for the village with 40 people directly benefited from service provision and 250 households indirectly benefited from the project.