A conservation centre in Siem Reap province has started tagging several lesser adjutants (Leptoptilos javanicus), and potentially other large rehabilitated birds suitable for release.

Srey Mom, a Cambodian conservationist at the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB) based in Kbal Spean Phnom Kulen National Park, Siem Reap said ACCB has started tagging several lesser adjutant to be released soon as some have already been released to their natural habitat.

“Before the release, all animals have been checked again and again to make sure that all of them can survive by their own in their natural habitat,” she explained.

Before the release, some animals have to put wing tags for their respective identification purposes, she continued, pointing out that the wing tags have black numeric sequences which are easy to read with binoculars, data, and photo from sighting to help the team with post-release monitoring and provide more information about the behaviour of the animal.

In 2021, seven lesser adjutants have been released, one of them had a wing tag, Ms. Christel Griffioen, Country Director of ACCB told by email.

“There are six more lesser adjutants that are suitable for release later this year, four will be fitted with a wing tag,” said Ms. Griffioen. “Before the release, previously we bred lesser adjutants and Asian woollyneck (Ciconia episcopus) at ACCB and those offspring have been released.”

The ACCB currently houses approximately 1,000 individuals belonging to about 45 species of mammals, reptiles and birds native to Cambodia. Roughly 90 percent of the individuals at ACCB belong to species classified as threatened by the IUCN.

In 2020, conservationists voiced their concerns over the decline of the lesser adjutant population as there were about 3,000 of the large wading birds remaining in the world (about 800 in Cambodia).

Lesser adjutant is a large wading bird in the stork family with an upright stance, a bare head and neck without a pendant pouch. It has a length of 87–93 cm, weighs from 4 to 5.71 kg and stands about 110–120 cm in tall.

Source: Agence Kampuchea Press

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