Over 300 converge for fifth annual crane festival

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Participants dressed up for the Crane Festival at the Anlung Pring Protected Landscape in Kampot province on May 19. NATURELIFE CAMBODIA

More than 300 people took part in the fifth annual Crane Festival in Anlung Pring Protected Landscape in southeastern Kampot province on May 19, to build public support for the conservation of the “venerable” sarus crane and in observation of World Migratory Bird Day five days earlier, according to NatureLife Cambodia.

The event was held at Koh Tnort Primary School in the namesake village of Prek Kroes commune and attended by Kampong Trach district authorities and other officials, the NatureLife Cambodia CEO, the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust Ltd (WWT) country director, and NGO representatives, NatureLife Cambodia said in a statement on May 20.

Kampong Trach district deputy governor Khim Samy highlighted the importance of Anlung Pring Protected Landscape in supporting the livelihoods of locals, and providing a food-rich and safe habitat for water birds, such as the sarus crane, according to the statement.

“On behalf of the local authority, he [Samy] provides a strong commitment to protecting the wetland available in [Boeung Sala Khang Tbong and Prek Kroes communes] of Kampong Trach district to support the living of Sarus crane and the benefit of the next generation,” NatureLife Cambodia said.

The event was organised with speeches, role playing aimed at demonstrating the significance of the protected area and the sarus crane, a painting competition focused on the water bird and its habitat, along with a 1km fun run.

Also included was a 5km bike-riding challenge across nearby villages, to raise awareness about the value of wetlands and “to encourage the local communities to manage their agricultural hazardous waste”, NatureLife Cambodia said.

It emphasised that the event armed locals with knowledge and strengthened the commitment of “all stakeholders on the ground” to team up and ensure that Anlung Pring remains a “sarus crane-friendly landscape”.

The sarus crane (Antigone antigone) is listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species as “vulnerable”.