Over the past week, swallow storks, an extremely rare species listed in the Vietnam Red Book, have flocked to Muong Phang district, northern Dien Bien province. However, this species is disappearing due to hunting.

According to locals, everyday from 6am to 11am or 2pm till past 4pm, hundreds of swallow storks appear on paddy fields in Phang, Dong Met and Bua villages and around Dien Bien Phu campaign relic site.

Notably some days, they swarm all over the fields. The number could amount to 700 – 800.

Locals attribute their appearance to the falling water level in Pa Khaong lake, which makes it easier for them to catch food.

While local authorities have yet to take effective measures to protect the storks, local residents are rushing to entrap them.

Local farmers say they ensnare storks to protect rice fields.

Swallow stork, generally known as snail stork, belongs to the crane family. They live in flocks in South Asian and Southeast Asian countries. In Vietnam , they can be found in the southwestern region and Tay Ninh province.

This species of stork weighs 1 to 1.2kg and mainly eats shellfish, frogs, toads, crabs and large insects. Fewer living areas and sources of food forces the stork to migrate to other regions.-VNA