An article posted in the Bangkok Post this morning spells out the successful breeding program undertaken by the National Zoological Department (aka “the zoo”) to hopefully reintroduce the species into the wild. -But is the species ready to be taken off the extinct lists? -Comments are welcome in the forum below.
‘Extinct’ Cranes Back in Wild
by Apinya Wipatayotin
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 Organization director Pimook Simaroj said yesterday.
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 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 program aimed at boosting their population in the wild.
The Zoological Park Organization 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.