© WWF-Cambodia / Martin von Kaschke

Masked Finfoot

This distant shot represents the only photographed sighting of the elusive Masked Finfoot in Mondulkiri Protected Forest within Cambodia's Eastern Plains Landscape.
Key Facts
Common name
Common Name

Masked Finfoot



In Cambodia: Rare; IUCN: Endangered; CITES: Appendix II

IUCN Red List Entry
Latin name

Scientific Name

Heliopais personatus


Body Length

52 - 54.5cm

Masked finfoots are very shy aquatic birds with long necks and tapered bills. Superficially, they may appear like a cross between a duck and a rail and are in fact related to cranes and rails. Masked finfoots are found on streams, slow-flowing rivers, creeks, ponds, and lake edges in lowland forest and mangroves. Throughout Cambodia there are few observations of these very secretive birds. Population estimates are therefore hard to produce, but undisturbed stretches of the Tonle Srepok and other large rivers in the Eastern Plains are ideal habitats for this elusive species which has been recorded twice from Mondulkiri Protected Forest. Globally, populations of masked finfoot are in steep decline as a result of loss and degradation of wetlands and lowland forest.
© WWF-Cambodia / Martin von Kaschke
Enlarged version of the finfoot-photograph shown above from the Srepok River in Mondulkiri Protected Forest, eastern Cambodia.
© WWF-Cambodia / Martin von Kaschke