Delhi-NCR bird census on December 15, UP will count Sarus cranes
The Okhla bird sanctuary, along with the Yamuna floodplains and wetlands in the vicinity, is considered to be one of the largest habitats in the national capital region for migratory birds.Updated: Dec 14, 2018 13:48 IST
Birders from across the NCR cities will conduct a census of winter birds on December 15. Birders, in groups, will be visiting habitats in Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida and Gurugram on Saturday.
The Uttar Pradesh government, meanwhile, will conduct a Sarus crane census on December 14 and 15, across the state, including in Surajpur, Dhanauri and Okhla Bird Sanctuary in Gautam Budh Nagar.
Sarus crane is the state bird of UP and the state has the largest population of this vulnerable species, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), an international organisation working in the field of nature conservation.
The Okhla bird sanctuary, along with the Yamuna floodplains and wetlands in the vicinity, is considered to be one of the largest habitats in the national capital region for migratory birds.
Birders say typically, over 250 species are spotted every year during the winter count.
“We will be holding the count on Saturday and we should be able to tabulate the numbers by Sunday,” K B Singh, founder of the Delhi Birders Group, which is organising the winter bird count, said.
“The aim of the count is to document the diversity of species in and around Delhi and to highlight the preservation efforts at these habitats. The teams that visit all kinds of habitats — from the Yamuna floodplains to wetlands, and even nearby forest areas such as Mangar Bani,” he said.
The annual bird count was started in 2013 and this will its sixth edition. About 100 birders are likely to participate in the count this year.
There will be four teams covering different parts on Noida and Greater Noida and another four teams for Gurugram and Sultanpur National Park.
“The format of the count is such that a vast area is covered at the same time. This helps in getting an accurate record on the diversity of birds,” Jaswinder Waraich, a birder from Noida, said.
The Sarus crane census on Friday and Saturday will be done by government officials from the forest department in eight teams in Gautam Budh Nagar. There will be two teams in Okhla Bird Sanctuary and two in the NTPC area.
“Another two teams will cover the Dadri range that has the Surajpur wetland. Two more teams will cover the Secundrabad range that includes Dhanauri wetland and parts of Jewar, Kasna and Dankaur. This is an important event as Sarus crane preservation is of utmost importance to the state,” PK Srivastava, divisional forest officer, Noida, said.
Dhanauri is one of the largest breeding grounds for Sarus crane in the region.
This site alone has over eight breeding pairs of Sarus cranes— compared to Bharatpur that has only four – and also hosts a nonbreeding Sarus crane flock of nearly 100 birds.