BANGKOK 3 January 2019: An endangered species of crane has been saved from extinction in Thailand, thanks to a project supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
For over 40 years, the Eastern Sarus Crane, which is assessed as vulnerable to extinction on the IUCN Red List, was thought to be extinct in Thailand due to habitat loss and damage to its natural habitat.
Since 2016, work on the ‘Conserving Habitats for Globally Important Flora and Fauna in Production Landscapes’, has helped ensure Thailand’s rich biodiversity and the survival of endangered species.
Rapid industrialisation over the past 30 years and subsequent urbanisation and intensification of agricultural production in the southeast Asian country, has resulted in the over-exploitation of natural resources and the loss of habitat on a massive scale.
While many impoverished Thai people benefitted from the development, the Eastern Sarus Crane became a casualty, as did the Spoon-billed Sandpiper and the Water Onion, colloquially referred to as ‘water lily’.
As a result of the UNDP-supported project, all three species are thriving following the collaboration of farmers and conservationists, who found ways to carry on farming while protecting the ecosystems that they rely on, said Wam.
Eastern Sarus Cranes have been reintroduced into their natural environment at three wetland complexes in Thailand’s Buriram province.