Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Dien Bien (VNA) – Thousands of endangered Asian openbill storks, which are listed as especially rare in Vietnam’s Red Book, are migrating to the northern mountainous province of Dien Bien, according to local sources.

Chu Ba Huy, deputy head of the Forest Management and Protection Office under the provincial Forest Ranger, said about four or five flocks, amounting to thousands, can be seen in paddy fields and lakes from Muong Cha and Dien Bien districts and Dien Bien Phu city, or in forests and pine hills in Muong Nhe district.

No case of illegal hunting has been reported so far.

The storks inhabit South and Southeast Asian countries 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.

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.

The heavy, gentle storks are an easy target as they feed in the rice fields, it said.-VNA