The first Globally Endangered Masked Finfoot nest was found on the Memay River in the Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary (KPWS) in Preah Vihear Province, said a press release of Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) made public today.
This site is the only confirmed breeding location in Cambodia for this very rare species, it underlined.
According to the same source, Masked Finfoot (Heliopais personatus) is listed on IUCN Red List as Globally Endangered, because its global population is declining at an alarming rate. This riverine species lives only in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Its global population is less than 1,000 individuals, while little is known about numbers in Cambodia.
After educating local communities about the Masked Finfoot, the Research team worked together with Community Protected Area committee and other local community members to search for the species. We then found a Masked Finfoot on the nest near the Memay River in KPWS, Preah Vihear province, said Mr. Rours Vann, Ministry of Environment/WCS Research Team Leader in KPWS.
I am proud of this finding because it is very rare species. We have not recorded any nests since 2013. Through nest protection programme, we have hired two local villagers to protect the nest to prevent any harm and disturbance, he added.
The Northern Plains landscape in Preah Vihear province consists of KPWS, Prey Preah Roka Wildlife Sanctuary and Chhep Wildlife Sanctuary, and is home to many globally endangered bird species. Those include Critically Endangered Giant Ibis, White-shouldered Ibis, and three species of vulture, globally Endangered White-winged Duck, Masked Finfoot and many other important wildlife.
Source: Agency Kampuchea Press