Hatchlings bring hope for endangered ducks

Ven Rathavong / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Nine white-winged duck eggs hatched after a nest was found last month. Supplied

Nine eggs of the globally endangered white-winged duck have successfully hatched after a nest was found last month in Preah Vihear province’s Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary.

The nest’s discovery was the first sign of the species in five years, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society, which found it with the help of villagers inside a hollowed Koki tree.

“The ducklings are the latest piece of great news resulting from an innovative programme developed by WCS in conjunction with the Ministry of Environment,” the WCS said yesterday.

The programme enlists the help of local villagers to find and protect nests with the help of WCS and Environment Ministry officials.

The white-winged duck is listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List as Globally Endangered. It is on the decline due to disturbances along key stretches of habitat and due to illegal poaching.

The global population is estimated at 250 to 1,000, while little is known about their numbers in Cambodia.

WCS’s communications officer Eng Mengey said the hatching of the eggs proves that the programme to save the species is working.

Mr Mengey noted that the mother duck was discovered injured in the wild about two years ago by villagers before being nursed back to health at WCS headquarters and released into the forest in 2015.

Mr Mengey said that 11 eggs laid by the rescued mother duck were discovered last month.

“There are nine hatchlings now and the other two eggs rotted,” he said.

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