Asian openbill storks flock to Gao Giong cajuput forest in Dong Thap hinh anh 1Storks in Gao Giong cajuput forest. (Source: VNA)

Dong Thap (VNA) – More than 100,000 Asian openbill storks have nested in Gao Giong cajuput forest, Cao Lanh district, the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap so far this year.

Huynh Thanh Hien, head of the managing board of Gao Giong cajuput forest, said Asian openbill storks, scientifically known as Anastomus Oscitans, has been listed in Vietnam’s Red Book as an extremely rare species.

The storks inhabit in South Asian and Southeast Asian nations, including India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

In Vietnam, the storks are known under the name co nhan (swallow) or co oc (snail storks) since they mainly eat snails. They also eat frogs, crabs, large insects and other small living things. They are mostly seen in the country’s southwestern region.

Gao Giong covers a total area of 1,600ha, comprising 1,200ha of cajuput forest, which is home to more than 100 species of birds.

In the past, Asian openbill storks flew to the forest to find food and then left, but now the birds have been building nests here, said Hien.

The heavy, gentle storks are an easy target for hunters and predators as they hunt for food in rice fields, rivers and lakes.

According to the Vietnam Association for the Conservation of Nature and Environment, the number of storks has decreased sharply over the past few years, putting them on the verge of extinction. -VNA