Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rare vultures found in Kratie

Rare vultures found in Kratie

Rare vultures found in Kratie

130228 05b
A red-headed vulture flaps its wings as it perches atop the carcass of a cow in Sambor district, Kratie province, last year. Jeff Schwilk / WWF-Cambodia

Two rare red-headed vultures were found last month by wild animal hunters deep in the forested mountains of Kratie’s Sambo district.

Phlunh Toeur, 20, told reporters last weekend that he spotted the vultures, listed as an “extremely endangered species” by World Wildlife Fund, in their nest in the flooded forest area of the mountains.

“I was surprised upon seeing it on the top of a big tree, and reported it to WWF workers,” he said.

Following Toeur’s discovery, WWF members and reporters were led into the patch where he had spotted the nest, finding a female feeding her two chicks.

The chicks were reported to be about 15 days old when discovered, but it is still unknown whether they are male or female.

Toeur is one of two vulture guardians employed by the WWF in the area to help protect and watch over the rare birds, working alongside Forestry Administration officials since 2012.

“I appreciate taking care of the vultures because I am able to get $4 each day and help to preserve them from extinction. I am here both day and night near a pond. At night, we felt afraid when hearing birds crying,” he said.  

Despite this promising find, the vultures remain at serious risk of extinction, with only three officials assigned to the project covering 56km of forest, according to Sok Ko, a Kan Tuoth commune forestry administrator.

“Within two years, we could find only two nests with four babies. This is the second. We killed three cows for their food last May, and we took photos that told us the number of vultures. As a result, we saw only two red-headed vultures left in the flooded forest,” Sok Ko explained.

Some locals claim there are more birds in the forest, however, and a photographic survey is due to take place in May this year.

The red-headed vulture has been listed as “critically endangered” on the IUCN list since 2009.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh authorities ban march for Human Rights Day

    Phnom Penh authorities have banned a planned march as local NGOs and workers’ unions gear up to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Monday, with a youth group leader saying they would march nonetheless. The UN

  • Phnom Penh’s Jet’s Container Night Market shuts down

    The famous Jet’s Container Night Market in central Phnom Penh has shut down due to the high cost of the land rental, company representatives claim. Jet’s Container Night Market is the largest such market in Phnom Penh. It operated for just over two

  • Hun Sen rejects ‘rift’ rumours spread by ‘stupid gangsters’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday denied a “rift” among top leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), and rejected claims that Senate president Say Chhum and Interior Minister Sar Kheng were set to be removed from their positions as rumours spread by “gangsters”.

  • EU ambassador to Cambodia: Rights a ‘work in progress’

    The EU ambassador to Cambodia has called human rights “a work in progress” and said the 28-nation bloc has “carefully” noted last week’s statement by the government on taking further steps to strengthen democracy and the political sphere in the Kingdom. The EU marked