By Mengey Eng
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| December 05, 2017
Preah Vihear, 05 December 2017 – Two White-winged Ducks were rescued from Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary (KPWS) after they were found exhausted and unable to fly. The conservationists from the Ministry of Environment (MoE) and WCS have sent these two ducks to the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB) in Siem Reap Province for care and rehabilitation until they have fully recovered and are able to survive in the wild.
The White-winged Duck is listed on IUCN’s Red List as Globally Endangered, primarily because its global population is in decline due to habitat loss, disturbance along riverine habitat and illegal poaching. The global population of this enigmatic duck species is estimated to be between 250 and 1,000 individuals, while little is currently known about the numbers present in Cambodia.
“After receiving information from two local villagers, our team traveled to collect the ducks and hand them over to the ACCB team for care and rehabilitation,” said Rours Vann, Wildlife Research Team Leader in KPWS for WCS and MoE.
“Ensuring local communities have awareness of conservation issues is vital to encourage them to report wildlife information to protected area authorities. If they do not understand the importance of wildlife conservation, they might have eaten or sold these ducks,” he added.
The Northern Plains of Cambodia is home to many globally threatened bird species. These include Critically Endangered Giant Ibis, White-shouldered Ibis, and three species of vulture, globally Endangered White-winged Duck, and many other important wildlife. WCS is working in collaboration with the MoE to conserve the Northern Plains’ forests and wildlife through a variety of conservation interventions. The Bird Nest Protection Programme is a payments scheme designed to combat the threat of egg and chick collection. Under the scheme, local people living in Kulen Promtep and Chhep Wildlife Sanctuaries in the Northern Plains of Cambodia are offered conditional payments if they successfully locate, monitor and protect nests until fledging.
“The two White-winged Ducks safely arrived at ACCB. We are now evaluating and monitoring their health condition. Hopefully, we can release them soon once they have fully recovered and are able to survive in the wild,” said Michael Meyerhoff, ACCB Project Manager.
Nest protection in the Northern Plains of Cambodia would not be possible without support from Akron Zoo, Sam Veasna Centre (SVC), the European Union, Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies (MACP).