Sarus cranes are arriving back in the Northern Plains, signaling the start of the breeding season. Last year over 50 nests were recorded by project staff, with nearly 90 chicks hatching, making this landscape the most important breeding area in South-East Asia. Local community members help protect the nests against theft and monitor the number of chicks that successfully hatch from in each nest. Numbers have risen from 19 nests in 2004 to the present total.
Sarus cranes need large water-logged grasslands in which to build their nests, which are made out of grass and other vegetation. The cranes lead their chicks away from the nest on hatching and they feed on insects, frogs and roots and tubers. Feeding is easy during the rainy season when the open forests of the Northern Plains are flooded. As the waters dry up, the cranes migrate to sites with more permanent water such as An Trapeang Thmor in Banteay Meanchey Province, and others sites around Cambodia.