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Endangered stork chicks take flight

Khuon Narim / Khmer Times Share:
Fewer than 1,000 greater adjutants remain. Supplied

Conservationists have successfully fledged endangered stork chicks from 175 nests on the Tonle Sap Lake.

The greater adjutant chicks were protected for six months by conservationists from the Ministry of Environment on the Prek Toal Ramsar breeding site, in partnership with The Wildlife Conservation Society Cambodia.

The society says the greater adjutant is the largest stork species in the world, reaching up to 1.5 metres tall.

The species is listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List as endangered.

An estimated 800-1,000 mature individuals exist globally, with 150-200 pairs living in Prek Toal, the only know breeding site in Southeast Asia and the world’s second largest greater adjutant colony after that in Assam, India.

The site is the premier freshwater wetland area on the Tonle Sap Lake.

“Local people in Prek Toal recognise the importance of waterbird conservation and the fact that these birds are providing a sustainable source of income through ecotourism,” said Chann Chhuom, a local nest protector.

Sun Visal, waterbird monitor and research team leader with the conservation society and the Ministry of Environment, said: “Prek Toal is the most important habitat for waterbirds in Cambodia. More than 103 waterbird species live and breed in this area.

“I would urge all local communities, authorities at all levels and development partners to continue cooperation and support of conservation activities in Prek Toal to safeguard its priceless waterbirds and natural habitat.”

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