Author Topic: 'Extinct' cranes bred in Korat Zoo back in wild  (Read 702 times)

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Offline Johnnie F.

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'Extinct' cranes bred in Korat Zoo back in wild
« on: August 02, 2011, 07:55:20 AM »

'Extinct' cranes back in wild

Thailand should remove the sarus crane from its extinct wild animal list now that 10 of the birds bred in captivity have been released into the wild, Zoological Park Organisation director Pimook Simaroj said yesterday.

Thai-bred cranes are seen at Nakhon Ratchasima Zoo. Sixty students living near the Hoei Chorakay Mak Reservoir Non-Hunting Area participated in a youth camp on Thai crane conservation organised by the zoo. The birds were released into nature in a no-kill zone in Buri Ram’s Muang district.

The sarus crane has been listed as extinct in the wild by the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (Onep) since it disappeared from from its natural habitat in Thailand 50 years ago.

In 1989, Thailand received a couple of the cranes from Cambodia. Experts at Nakhon Ratchasima Zoo successfully bred the birds in captivity bringing their present population at the zoo to about 100.

Ten of the birds were released into the wild in March at Hoei Chorakay Mak Wildlife Sanctuary in Buri Ram which is close to Cambodia, the birds' original home.

All of the cranes were fitted with radio tracking devices to enable officials to monitor them.

"This is a major success," Mr Pramook said. "They all are in good health and there is a chance they will breed in nature. I support the delisting of the cranes from the extinction list."

The director said Her Majesty the Queen had expressed concern over the cranes and supported the programme aimed at boosting their population in the wild.

The Zoological Park Organisation and the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation plan to release more cranes in Bueng Kong Long in Loei province.

But it may take more time before the cranes can be taken off the extinction list, said Nisakorn Kositratna, Onep's secretary-general. That's because the freed cranes were bred in captivity and a species can be removed from the list only after it successfully breeds in nature and its wild population grows.

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