|Baby birds which fall from their nests are rescued by workers from the management board of birds’ nests on Cù Lao Chàm Island. VNA/VNS Photo|
QUẢNG NAM — Quảng Nam Province has implemented many measures to protect and develop sustainable production of birds' nests on Cù Lao Chàm Island.
The nests of swallows are made from their saliva, which is a popular food product across Asia. A report from the Ministry of Science and Technology said Vietnamese Salangane nests (known as yến sào) are seen as one of the best products in Việt Nam due to their high nutritional value, with 50 per cent protein.
Cả Cave, one of the island's caves, was chosen as the best place to deploy many scientific projects, in an effort by the Hội An City's authorities to raise and develop swallows.
Dr Võ Tấn Phong, an official from the management board of birds’ nests on Cù Lao Chàm Island, told Tin Tức (News) online newspaper that the reproduction rate of swallows has improved in recent years.
In May this year, workers collected 1,000 eggs and 800 baby birds that had fallen from their nests, incubating them at a rescue centre.
All young birds are cared for before being released back into their natural environment, said Nguyễn Lên, head of the Cù Lao Chàm rescue team.
The rate of eggs hatching and young birds developing well has reached 80 per cent.
"It is a great success raising them," Phong said.
Wild swallows often build their nests in the caves on the island.
Workers have to build bamboo scaffoldings in caves to reach the birds' nets.
For narrow ravines, workers have to use ropes to get past the wet and slippery rocks to remove each nest, adding that they are also very careful to avoid tearing the nest, affecting its value, Lên said.
The harvested birds' nests are cleaned and divided into many types, based on the size and volume.
About 90 per cent of the nests are exported to Hong Kong (mainland China) and other Asian countries, while 10 per cent are consumed domestically.
The cost of each kilo of bird’s nest is about VNĐ200 million (US$8,600).
Vice-Chairman of Hội An City People's Committee Nguyễn Thế Hùng the number of swallows on the island has sharply decreased in recent years.
The city has assigned a management board of birds’ nests on Cù Lao Chàm Island, to assess the causes of the decline and further develop projects on rescuing baby birds and incubating bird's eggs. — VNS