Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ministry working with partners to stop crane drop

Ministry working with partners to stop crane drop

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Environment ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra and officials visit the location of crane nesting grounds in Kon Mom district of Ratanakkiri province on September 3. NETH PHEAKTRA VIA FB

Ministry working with partners to stop crane drop

The Ministry of Environment, Ratanakkiri Provincial Administration and partner organisations are stepping up their efforts in the conservation of cranes in their nesting area within the Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary in Kon Mom district.

Ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra said the latest census results indicated a steady decline in their numbers over the past three years.

“According to the census, Cambodia had 194 cranes in 2020 but down to only 164 in 2021. This year, a new report, which we have not officially issued yet, shows that the number of cranes has gone down even further to just over 150,” he said.

Pheaktra said that June to October is the nesting season for cranes in the grasslands, noting that they used to be present in many other areas of Cambodia such as the protected landscapes at Anlung Pring in Kampot province’s Kampong Trach district; Boeung Prek Lapouv in Takeo province; and Ang Trapeang Thmor in Banteay Meanchey province’s Phnom Srok district.

He said cranes at the site included males, females and a baby living like a family while foraging in the area between November and May. But aside from those months, all of the cranes would generally disappear because they would migrate elsewhere and continue on with their mating cycle by nesting in the grasslands of the Lumphat sanctuary in Ratanakkiri’s Kon Mom district over an area of 270ha.

“Now across 270ha of land, according to expert officials, we have three families totalling about 11 cranes, which isn’t many for the nesting season,” he said.

Pheaktra confirmed that NatureLife Cambodia – a conservation organisation established with support from BirdLife International – has received permission from the ministry to participate in the crane conservation efforts and has done important work cooperating with the community to protect these nests of cranes, giant ibis and other rare birds.

He said that for the bird’s safety in case the population mysteriously swelled, the 270ha area has been set aside as a conservation habitat for cranes to nest, lay eggs and hatch them. The ministry placed 10 big boundary poles and 70 small boundary ones to warn others to stay out of the protected habitat.

“Thus, in order to increase the safety of cranes in this area, the ministry and provincial administration have advised NatureLife Cambodia to set up towers around the area and keep watch to deter any intruders there,” he said.

He said the area already prohibited the present of domestic dogs because they tend to sniff out and eat crane eggs. The ministry also does not allow people to enter the nesting grounds from June to October, which is usually when the cranes are hatching their eggs.

“Thus, to increase the safety of cranes in this area, we will put some practical measures in place to protect them,” he said.

Thol Sovannarith, project director of NatureLife Cambodia, said that during the dry season the cranes move their habitat from around the Tonle Sap Lake to the nesting grounds in Lumphat.

“The failure to conserve cranes in the nesting area is mostly due to people bringing pet dogs to hunt or take the cranes’ eggs because their nests are easy to see since they make them on the grass,” he said.

He said the organisation’s team and the communities nearby have been working regularly to preserve and maintain crane nests and habitats in the nesting area of the Lumphat sanctuary.

According to Pheaktra, crane is among birds present in Southeast Asia listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

According to their data, between 13,000 and 15,000 cranes live in the world today – in habitats as diverse as India and Australia or Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

“Cranes have been present in Cambodia for a long time. If we visit the Bayon temple in Siem Reap, we will see a crane sculpture carved into the rock of the wall. In Asia, crane is a symbol of good fortune and longevity. They are also thought to be a symbol of sincere love because of the way they form partner relationships. In Myanmar, cranes are considered sacred in Buddhism,” he said.

He said the ministry as well as partner organisations and other relevant institutions are working together to discuss the possibility of increasing crane numbers via a captive breeding programme that would then release the birds into the wild.


  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Takeo hand-woven silk items provide local high-quality alternative to imports

    After graduating from university and beginning her career as a civil servant at the the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Khieu Sina found time to establish a business that aligns with her true passion – quality hand-woven Khmer goods. Her product line, known as Banteay Srei,

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • 11th Chaktomuk Short Film Festival draws to close

    Cambodia's 11th Chaktomuk Short Film Festival wrapped up successfully on November 28 after a four-day run, with the film “Voice of the Night” awarded top prize for 2022. Sum Sithen, the organiser of the short film festival, told The Post that the number of attendees to the