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Three rare storks hatch in Preah Vihear

Ven Rathavong / Khmer Times Share:
The black-necked stork and its chicks at Preah Vihear. Supplied

The three rare black-necked stork chicks have recently hatched in Preah Vihear’s Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary.  The nest was under the protection of the Wildlife Conservation Society for the last five weeks.

Yoeun Yerb, one of the WCS-supported nest protectors, said that he and his colleagues are happy to see the hatchlings fare so well.

The black-necked stork is on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature as a near threatened species.  The IUCN estimates the global population of this bird at 15000 to 35000 individuals.

Australia boasts the largest, but not indigenous, population.  The species is fairly widespread in western India.  In Southeast Asia it is extremely rare, with only minute populations observed – 4 to 10 pairs.  In Thailand the species may already be extinct as a breeding bird.

According to Friday’s press statement by the Wildlife Conservation Society, the hatchlings raise hope for the future of this rare species in Cambodia.  The Kingdom is the only country in Southeast Asia where the bird is regularly recorded.

Rours Vann, Wildlife Research Team leader for the WCS, said that the species is a very rare in Cambodia because: “They have a widespread distribution but quite a small population.  If we do not preserve them, they will disappear.”

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