Global body to study dwindling sarus count in Rajasthan
Concerned over the reports of declining sarus crane population in Rajasthan, the International Crane Foundation will take up research and conservation work on the bird in Kota and other places in the state, said Dr KS Gopi Sundar, the director of ICF’s SarusScape Programjaipur Updated: Oct 03, 2017 20:56 IST
Concerned over the reports of declining sarus crane population in Rajasthan, the International Crane Foundation (ICF) will take up research and conservation work on the bird in Kota and other places in the state, said Dr KS Gopi Sundar, the director of ICF’s SarusScape Program.
Gopi Sundar was recently in Kota to join the Wildlife Week celebrations of the Hadauti Naturalist Society (HNS), engaged in sarus conservation programmes in Kota.
The International Crane Foundation works worldwide to conserve cranes and the ecosystems, watersheds, and flyways on which they depend.
Gopi Sundar told HT that ICF is monitoring sarus cranes in Chittorgarh and Pratapgarh districts of Rajasthan for the last four years. Reports received from sarus crane conservationists, wildlife activists and photographers have revealed that the population of sarus cranes was dwindling in Kota, Banswara, Dungarpur and other districts, he said.
“Earlier, the population of sarus cratnes in Rajasthan was believed to be between 3,000 and 5,000 in the 90s and early part of 2000, but there is no information on the current population of sarus cranes,” he added.
“HNS president Bharat Singh has revealed to ICF that three decades ago 80 to 90 sarus cranes would be seen in the wetlands of Kota, but the number has dropped to mere 8 or 9, which is unfortunate,” the ICF director said.
When asked about the present population of sarus cranes in Rajasthan, Gopi Sundar said, “The present population of sarus crane, along with its habitat, distribution and factors affecting the bird, is a matter of research, for which ICF will take up research in the areas where the bird is found such as Kota, Dungarpura and Banswara.”
However, he said that increased human disturbance following agricultural activity, encroachment on wetlands and destruction of eggs by agricultural workers could be some of the reasons behind the declining population of sarus cranes in Rajasthan.
HNS secretary RS Tomar said that conservation of sarus cranes can be achieved through public awareness.
There are three species of sarus cranes found in Rajasthan —Sarus Crane, Domicile Crane and Common Crane. While sarus crane is a domestic bird, the other two are migratory birds.