Endangered sarus crane eggs hatch

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The sarus crane species is rapidly declining. Supplied

Fifty eggs of the endangered sarus crane have hatched from 27 nests in Preah Vihear province’s Kulen district.

Mao Khean, a researcher with the Wildlife Conservation Society, said his team found 27 nests of the globally endangered cranes in the northern plans earlier this year.

He said ten nests were in the Chhep Wildlife Sanctuary and 17 were in the Kulen Promtep Wildlife

Twenty-seven nests were found earlier this year. Supplied

Sanctuary.

“We hired 44 local villagers to protect these nests because they can be threatened by consumption by wild pigs or domestic dogs, egg collection by local people, and flooding,” Mr Khean said. “50 new chicks hatched from the nests.”

Bort Heak, 37, a sarus crane nest protector in Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary, said she and her husband had worked as wildlife protectors for almost eight years.

“We will do this work forever because we don’t want to lose the endangered animals from our country,” she said. “I am happy to do this job.”

In recent years, there has been a declining trend in the number of sarus cranes observed throughout Cambodia.

The seasonally flooded grasslands of the Northern Plains, one of the few locations in Cambodia where the birds breed, are threatened by agricultural conversion to rice paddies.

The annual sarus crane census in 2016 recorded the lowest number, 433, of the cranes in Cambodia and Vietnam since the synchronised counts began in 2001.

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