Crane counts were conducted across Cambodia and Vietnam on two dates in 2009: 17-19 January (nine sites), and 25-30 March (eleven sites). An extra mid-season count was held in Cambodia only on 25-28 February (seven sites). The sites covered include almost all of the sites where cranes are known to occur in the dry season.
Cranes were recorded at ten of the eleven sites counted during 25-30 March 2009, with a total of 747, which is around 12% less than last year's regional count. As in previous years the bulk of the population was found at a select few sites. In order of magnitude these sites are: Ang Trapeang Thmor, Kampong Trach/Phu My, Tram Chim and Hon Chong, which together held 96% of cranes counted in the late dry season.
Although it still held the largest number of cranes of all sites, the number of cranes using Ang Trapeang Thmor (ATT) in 2009 was substantially lower than last year. Construction work carried out this year meant that all the water in the reservoir was retained and the main feeding area remained heavily flooded throughout the dry season. It may well be that due to the conditions prevalent at ATT this dry season, some of the cranes bound for ATT moved to temporary alternative feeding sites not covered by the census, thereby influencing the total count.