Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Cardamom Mountains and the area comprise mostly forested mountains, but with many different habitats and forest-types, and the landscape is dominated by three discrete peaks: Phnom Samkos (1,717 m and Cambodia’s second highest peak), Phnom Khmaoch (1,496 m), and Phnom Tumpor (1,250 m).

The sanctuary is notable for its large diversity of habitats, including several types of forests. The interior of the sanctuary is largely unexplored by scientists, but small-scale surveys suggests that many rare, unique and even endemic species are present.

Ichthyophis cardamomensis is a new species of legless amphibian discovered in this reserve. The discovery was made by the Center for Biodiversity Conservation (CBC) in Phnom Penh, led by herpetologist Neang Thy. “These findings are very important to prove that much of Cambodia’s biodiversity is still unknown and has not been scientifically proven, and many other areas need to be searched,” he said.

Ichthyophis cardamomensis is a Caecilian, which is best described as a snake-like or worm-like amphibian, but lacking limbs. They are not easy to identify to most people, but they still have specific characteristics of the species, such as amphibian’s skin, they also have skulls and bones different from worms.

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