The Milky Stork, Mycteria cinerea is a large wading bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. It can reach a length of 97 cm. The sexes look similar. The plumage is general white contrasted with a naked red face and a long shiny green-black tail and flight-feathers. This species occurs in Cambodia, Peninsular Malaysia and the islands of Sumtra, Java, Bali, Sumbawa, Buton and Sulawesi, Indonesia. It is classified as Vulnerable owing to loss of coastal habitat, hunting and trade.
KUALA KURAU (Taiping): On the 4th of March, Malaysia has given a new lease of life to the Milky Stork, the big water bird known locally as burung upeh, which is in danger of extinction in Malaysia. Their population had dwindled to only six birds last year, compared to about 150 in the 1980s that were raised in Zoo Negara or the National Zoo.
Yesterday, to mark World Wetlands Day, Natural Resources and Environment parliamentary secretary Datuk Sazmi Miah released eight birds at the Kuala Gula Bird Sanctuary, near here. He said the ministry would be spending about RM500,000 under the 9th Malaysia Plan to increase the population of the bird. Sazmi said that so far about RM80,000 had been spent to raise the birds at Zoo Negara. He said in the next phase, staff from the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) would be stationed at the sanctuary to release more birds into the wetlands. He hoped the Perak government would help by minimising activities at the mudflats, such as the felling of mangrove trees and digging of ponds for aquaculture.
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