The tagged crane that travelled from Russia. (HT Photo)
The tagged crane that travelled from Russia. (HT Photo)

Crane tagged in Russia covers over 4300 km to reach Rajasthan

This is the second crane found this winter season that was tagged, but the crane A-5, which was spotted on Sunday, covered the most distance to reach here.
By Dinesh Bothra
PUBLISHED ON FEB 02, 2021 04:04 PM IST

A Demoiselle crane tagged in Russia's Transbaikalia was spotted in Khinchan village in Jodhpur district on Sunday. The crane traveled about 4,368 km to reach here, the longest distance covered by the tagged migratory birds reported so far, bird experts claimed on Monday.

On Sunday morning at the shelter site of migratory birds in Khinchan village, bird watcher Sewaram Mali saw the tagged crane, which he reported to bird expert Dr Dau Lal Bohra. Dr Bohra, associated with the international network engaged in the watch of migratory birds, verified that this bird was tagged on August 2, 2019 by Oleg Goroshko in Transbaikalia in Onon District near Novy Dutulgui village. Now it is the second winter in India for this crane.

The last signal from this bird was on January 17 this year. Until January 17 this crane was in Gujrat in the area south of Kachchh Bay between Arabian sea coast and Manavadar. He said that this is the second crane found this winter season that was tagged, but the crane A-5, which was spotted on Sunday, covered the most distance to reach here.

“Under the international project of “1000 Cranes”, Demoiselle cranes were tagged with color plastic rings and GPS-GSM transmitters in Russia and Mongolia in 2018 and 2019. Main objectives of the research were to identify pre-migration staging areas, migratory stopovers and wintering grounds along the flyways to India through tagging of cranes and subsequent tracking. In 2018 Demoiselle Cranes tagged in Russia and Mongolia were sighted in Rajasthan and Gujarat, where their wintering grounds are located,” he added.

According to the report, “Threats to cranes at wintering grounds in India” published by the Severtsov’ Institute of Ecology and Evolution Russian Academy of Science, in Rajasthan, power lines are also a big issue for migratory bird’s mortality. More than 1000 lethal electrical poles are near feeding and roosting sites, and collisions with electric wires are a major issue for Demoiselle Cranes mortality.

In 2012, 19 cranes were dead due to electrocution near a feeding station. At the end of 2019, around 47 Demoiselle Cranes were found dead in a single observation caused by electrocution. The other threats are plastic and sewage water pollution, semi-wild dogs and heavy salt water which probably causes leg injuries or sarcoma.

“Rajasthan and Gujarat both are big states and very important for migratory and wintering cranes. Therefore, work on identifying and assessment of threats to cranes and other birds should be conducted with a focus on places determined through crane tagging and tracking. It is necessary to identify where the electric power lines have the greatest negative impact on birds during migration and in wintering grounds, as well as what types of pesticides cause their poisoning,” Dr Bohra said.

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