Study Finds Larger Than Expected Elephant Population in Prey Lang, Cambodia

First comprehensive study of Asian elephant populations in Prey Lang, Chhaeb, and Prey Rhoka Wildlife Sanctuaries finds higher than expected elephant populations     


Kampong Thom (August 12, 2022) – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Flora & Fauna International (FFI) are celebrating World Elephant Day 2022 by announcing the findings of the first comprehensive study of Asian elephants in the Prey Lang Extended Landscape. Using genetic sampling techniques, the study found larger than expected Asian elephant populations residing in relatively large areas of suitable habitat across the Prey Lang, Chhaeb, and Prey Rhoka Wildlife Sanctuaries.  

“The study estimates that there are around 31 Asian elephants in Prey Lang and 20 Asian elephants in Chhaeb and Prey Rhoka. These figures are higher than previous estimates,” said USAID/Cambodia Acting Mission Director Ms. Rebecca Black. “The study findings indicate that the Asian elephants in northern Cambodia have some of the highest genetic diversity in the world. With adequate protection the resident Asian elephant populations across Prey Lang, Chhaeb, and Prey Rhoka Wildlife Sanctuaries can rebound to levels necessary for their survival in the long term. USAID/Cambodia will continue to work with the Ministry of Environment, communities, and the private sector to conserve the protected areas where Cambodia’s Asian elephant populations reside.”  

Pablo Sinovas, Country Director for FFI in Cambodia added, “Following an enormous amount of field, lab and computing effort, we are thrilled to have completed this important and novel study, which brings hope and the necessary data and direction for the conservation of Asian elephants in Cambodia’s central and northern lowlands.” 


USAID GPL is a five-year program that promotes resilient, low-emission development and inclusive sustainable management in Northern Cambodia by supporting communities, conservation, and improved governance. To learn more visit 

Media Contacts 

USAID Greening Prey Lang 

Un Chakrey 


Pablo Sinovas