Endangered 500 snakebird flock discovered in Dong Nai

Thursday, 2019-11-14 15:42:03
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The darters which are at risk of extinction have been found in Bien Hoa city, Dong Nai province. (Photo: NDO/Thien Vuong)
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NDO – An endangered flock of 500 snakebirds (Anhinga anhinga) have been found at a tourist site in Buu Long ward, Bien Hoa city, the southern province of Dong Nai, attracting the attention of forest bird lovers and researchers of endangered wildlife.

Information from Dong Nai Provincial Forest Protection Department on November 13 revealed that the flock of snakebird, also known as anhinga or darter, were found at Buu Long tourist site in Bien Hoa city, with about 500 individuals. It is the first time snakebirds have been discovered in Dong Nai.

Currently, local forest rangers are working closely with the relevant units to trace their movements, while proposing to specialised units to take measures to conserve the rare species.

A Nhan Dan Newspaper correspondent was present at the site on November 14 morning to capture some photos of the rare flock of birds.

The snakebirds have unexpectedly made their presence at Buu Long in recent days.

Many snakebirds perch upon tree branches in Buu Long tourist site.

According to a leader of Dong Nai Forest Protection Department, this is the first time that a large number of snakebirds have appeared in Dong Nai. They may arrive to find foods and stay there due to the close to nature environment at the site.

Under Government Decree No. 06/2019/NĐ-CP dated January 22, 2019 on the management of endangered, precious and rare species of forest fauna and flora and observation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the darter is included in the group of 1B, which is on the edge of extinction.

The snakebirds are mainly tropical waterbirds in the family Anhingidae, which contains a single genus, Anhinga.

The term “snakebird” refers to their long thin neck, which has a snake-like appearance when they swim with their bodies submerged, or when mated pairs twist it during their bonding displays.

There are four living species, one of which has been classified as near-threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Snakebirds are mostly tropical in distribution, ranging into subtropical and rarely into warm temperate regions. Their preferred habitats are fresh water lakes, rivers, marshes, swamps, estuaries and mangrove forests. They tend to gather in groups and in pairs.

Buu Long tourist area is about 500 metres away from Dong Nai river, with an area of over 80 ha with topographical features of rivers and mountains that may attract the flock of snakebirds.

Photo: NDO/Thien Vuong