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A chick of rare Oriental stork is under WWF’s caring wing

17 june 2022
An orphaned Oriental stork, that has lost its nest and parents, is rescued and placed at the Rehabilitation Center for the Tigers and Other Rare Animals in Primorye. WWF took a rare bird under patronage. After rehabilitation, it will be released into the wild.
Habitat loss caused by human economic activity is one of the main factors limiting the number of rare species. Having lost their homes, animals can get injured or even die. The Rehab Center “TIGR”, located near Alekseevka village, helps to save rare birds, which got into trouble and return them back to nature.
According to Viktor Kuzmenko, head of the Rehab Center TIGR: “The chick of the Oriental stork was brought to us from Spassky district of Primorye. It has survived after the nest fell down from a great height. Its mother and two other chicks died. Now our task is to feed the bird, raise until it gets strong enough and return to the wild”.
A chick of rare Oriental stork is rescued in Primorye
Vadim Shkodin / WWF Russia

The most important thing when working with any wild animal is not to disturb it and provide with the right diet. Now the chick is about a month and a half old, it fits to its age, just starting to get on its feet, actively eats fresh fish and has been transferred to a large aviary, where it can learn to fly and improve these skills.

Comments Anna Serdyuk, Ph.D., the head of the freshwater ecosystems department of WWF Russia Amur branch, head of the Russian Working Group on Oriental Stork Conservation: “Thanks to the efforts and care of specialists of the Rehab Center TIGR and the infrastructure that we helped them to build, over the past three years, four Oriental storks, a white-naped crane and two Red-crowned cranes have been rescued and returned to the wild. All these birds are equipped with GPS transmitters, we monitor their migrations and know for sure that the rehabilitation was successful. This experience is very important, because the return of wild animals to natural habitat is a very difficult multi-stage process involving many people, and we have to be sure there are no failures”.
Viktor Kuzmenko, head of the Rehab Center TIGR, tells reporters about the new patient
Anna Serdyuk, WWF Russia, with the Oriental stork chick
Elena Starostina / WWF Russia

A special infrastructure facility for the rescue of endangered birds such as storks and cranes, was built at the Rehab Center TIGR with the help of WWF supporters in Russia in 2020. It includes a warm cabin for keeping migratory birds in winter and a network of aviaries for their rehabilitation in the warm season. An important part of this complex is a flying aviary. Here, chicks and birds with injuries, after surgery, have the opportunity to spread their wings, recover and retain their ability to fly. Saving each bird important for the survival of the species in general.

The Oriental stork is one of the rarest birds in the Russian Far East. It is endangered and listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation, IUCN, Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Since 1998, thanks to the activities carried out by the state with the support of WWF Russia Amur branch, the number of breeding pairs of Oriental storks in the Russian part of the Amur ecoregion has doubled and is estimated at 950 pairs.

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