Unearthing the Ancient Secrets of Angkor in Cambodia

Archaeology & Culture

Unearthing the Ancient Secrets of Angkor in Cambodia

How did the people of the Khmer Empire manage a changing climate and what can their resilience teach us today?

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The facts

Why the research is important

Why the research is important

The primary outcome of this research will be the development of a plan to reduce conflict between local community farmers and raiding wildlife.

Budongo Forest is home to many fruiting trees and several species of primates that depend upon tree fruit as a major component of their diets.

Local community members live along the forest edge, this is a link example and maintain subsistence farms on less than two acres of land. One of the major threats to farmers' livelihoods is crop raiding by forest animals. Since 1993, researchers in the Budongo Forest Reserve have observed a 15% decline in the number of fruiting trees in the forest; the reasons for this decline are unknown. The result of fewer fruiting trees is an increase in raids by forest primates on subsistence farms—and increased human-wildlife conflict.


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This project is investigating whether changes in climate and/or insect pollinators are responsible for changes in the number of fruit trees or seasonal fruit production. In addition, the research team is investigating the implications of changes in tree fruiting in the area on human-wildlife conflict and food security. To conduct this investigation, the team has established plots in which selected trees are monitored monthly to record fruiting patterns. At the same time, the team is collecting data on weather, pollination, fruit set, pollinator visitation frequency, foraging rates and pollination speed. Data will also be collected to correlate the patterns of crop raiding with the pollination and fruiting patterns of forest trees. The primary outcome of this research will be the development of a plan to reduce conflict between local community farmers and raiding wildlife.

About the research area

Angkor Archaeological Park, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia , Cambodia, Asia

Daily life in the field


This is a summary:

The Scientists


Director, Nature Seekers

ABOUT Dennis Sammy

He is the Managing Director of Nature Seekers and oversees day-to-day management of the Matura Turtle Conservation Programme, administering research, guiding tours, and raising funds. He is the Coordinator of the Matura Turtle Tagging Project and one of the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network’s (WIDECAST) Trinidad coordinators. Mr. Sammy has an Associate Degree in Tourism Management, and received the Hummingbird Medal, Trinidad’s highest conservation award. During each Earthwatch expedition, he will provide training and support for volunteers and will communicate with Dr. Eckert on scientific issues.


Accommodations and Food

Accommodations and Food


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