The Council of Ministers has agreed to seek a royal decree to protect a rare, endangered crane, by establishing a conservation area in an old Khmer Rouge reservoir in Banteay Meanchey province, officials said.
The conservation area with bird monitoring stations would be established in the Trapaing Thmor reservoir in Phnom Srok district, where researchers from the International Crane Foundation and Siem Reap wildlife department late last year discovered about 100 red-headed eastern sarus cranes, said Chhun Sareth, undersecretary of state for the Ministry of Agriculture.
“The royal decree would strengthen the conservation efforts and help attract tourists and researchers,” he said Friday.
The 1.3-meter tall bird is said to be the world’s tallest flying bird. Less than 1,500 cranes are estimated to remain in the world.
Until a final round of Khmer Rouge defections late last year, the area was considered a security risk.
Officials of the Agriculture Ministry’s forestry department have spearheaded efforts to establish a conservation area at the reservoir to protect the birds and environment. They also have organized seminars for local villagers and officials on the ecological importance of the crane.