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4 red-crowned cranes return to national park in southern Vietnam

4 red-crowned cranes return to national park in southern Vietnam

Sunday, March 10, 2024, 11:33 GMT+7
4 red-crowned cranes return to national park in southern Vietnam
Red-crowned cranes are spotted at Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam, in 2019. Photo: Nguyen Hoai Bao / Tuoi Tre

Four red-crowned cranes recently returned to Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam for feeding after an extended absence, an official confirmed on Friday.

At 10:30 am on Thursday, while preparing for a forest fire prevention and fighting drill, staff at Tram Chim National Park recorded four red-crowned cranes coming to Zone A5 to feed for about 30 minutes, according to Doan Van Nhanh, deputy director of the park conservation center. 

The cranes then flew toward Zone A4.

Nhanh asserted that dedicated personnel are currently overseeing feeding areas 24/7, strengthening patrols, and conducting regular checks in the surrounding zones to safeguard the undisturbed habitat of the red-crowned cranes.

Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap Province has been a feeding ground for red-crowned cranes for over 30 years, but sightings have become increasingly rare in recent years.

In 2021, three red-crowned cranes were last observed at the park during their most recent visit.

In 2022 and 2023, the birds were entirely absent.

However, the return of the four cranes on Thursday signals a positive development.

Nguyen Hoai Bao, deputy director of the Wetland Research Center at the Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh City, attributed the red-crowned cranes’ return to the hopeful changes in the park's agricultural ecosystem.

He emphasized the importance of restoring natural and agricultural ecosystems, noting the administration and people of Dong Thap Province’s commitment to cleaner agriculture practices.

Nhanh added that plans are underway to increase food sources for cranes to attract the birds.

Four red-crowned cranes fly above Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam, March 7, 2024. Photo: Tram Chim National Park

Four red-crowned cranes fly above Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam, March 7, 2024. Photo: Tram Chim National Park

The park is currently implementing technical measures to restore the local ecosystem, aiming to create favorable conditions for red-crowned cranes to find food.

Vietnam’s red-crowned cranes, whose scientific name is grus antigone, have been classified as vulnerable, the lowest of the three risk levels, in the Red List of Threatened Species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) following the most recent assessment in 2016, according to the IUCN website.

The bird is native to Nepal, Australia, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Vietnam.

It was also found in Bangladesh, China, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

The Dong Thap People’s Committee has green-lighted a project aimed at conserving red-crowned cranes at Tram Chim National Park from 2022 to 2032, with an estimated budget close to VND185 billion (US$7.5 million). 

This initiative encompasses receiving, caring for, studying, and reintroducing the birds, as well as enhancing and restoring their habitats, promoting sustainable ecological agriculture, and investing in infrastructure. 

It seeks to bolster crane populations through breeding and natural reintroduction processes, while also restoring wetland habitats for various other species, thereby safeguarding biodiversity and the cultural fabric of local communities. 

The scheme involves a collaboration between the provincial People’s Committee, the Vietnam Zoos Association, the International Crane Foundation, and Thailand’s Zoological Park Organization, which has been successful in the work.

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Bao Anh - Dang Tuyet / Tuoi Tre News

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