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Huge Flock of Endangered Bird Species Appears in Dong Nai

To quote Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park, "Life, uh, finds a way."

VnExpress reports that roughly 500 endangered chim cổ rắn, or Oriental darters (Anhinga melanogaster), have recently been spotted in the Buu Long Tourism compound in Dong Nai Province.

The bird species is in Vietnam's Red Book of vulnerable species, and is also listed as 'threatened with extinction' by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Le Viet Dung, deputy head of the provincial Forest Protection Department, told the news source that this is the first time so many darters have visited the area. They are believed to have stopped for food and shelter.

Local forest rangers, meanwhile, have been deployed to protect the birds while they roost. The darter family currently consists of four remaining species, all tropical waterbirds.

Elsewhere in southern Vietnam, the Vietnam News Agency reports that a number of endangered birds have gathered at the Bac Lieu bird sanctuary in the Mekong Delta this year.

Early this year, 200 Asian openbill storks arrived in the area, and that flock has since grown to number 1,000 birds. Around 700 black-headed ibises have also made Bac Lieu their temporary home. Both species are listed on Vietnam's Red Book.

The news is not as positive in Dong Thap Province, however. Last month, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) announced at a conference on wetland management that only 11 sarus cranes had been recorded in Tram Chim National Park. In 1998, 1,052 of the cranes were spotted in the park.

[Photo via Flickr user Aardwolf6886]

Anhinga melanogaster