The path to Preak Tachan ranger station, in Botum Sakor national park, Cambodia, snakes through dense, silent forest. It crosses bubbling rivers and clearings where luminous butterflies flit around gargantuan hanging vines and tall wild grasses. It’s The Lost World, Indochina-style. I half expect a dinosaur to come crashing through the foliage.
The 1,712 sq km park – in the Cardamom mountains in the south-west of the country – is home to rare wildlife such as the pileated gibbon, Asian elephant, clouded leopard and Bengal slow loris. But with the triple challenges of poaching, logging and sand mining, these critically endangered species, and the jungle they live in, are under threat.