Globally endangered water bird discovered in Cambodia

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Phnom Penh, July 20 (IANS) A conservationist group said on Thursday that it has found a globally endangered Masked Finfoot, an aquatic bird, for the first time in four years in Cambodia’s Preah Vihear province.

This site near the Memay river is the only confirmed breeding location in Cambodia for this very rare species, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) said in a statement.

Masked Finfoot is listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List as Globally Endangered because its global population is declining at an alarming rate, Xinhua news agency quoted the statement as saying.

This riverine species lives only in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, it said, adding that its global population is less than 1,000 individuals, while little is known about the numbers in Cambodia.

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“After educating local communities about the Masked Finfoot, the research team worked together with Community Protected Area committee and other local members to search for the species, and we then found a Masked Finfoot on the nest near the Memay river,” said Rours Vann, head of the Environment Ministry and WCS research team in KPWS.

“I am proud of this finding because it is very rare species. We have not recorded any nests since 2013,” he added.

–IANS

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