What is the News?
Black-necked cranes (Grus nigricollis) have been sighted for the first time in Assam. To celebrate this, the bird was given an Assamese name: “Deu Korchon” (Deu means god and Korchon means crane).
Black Necked Crane:
- The black-necked crane is endemic to the Tibetan Plateau. It is a medium-sized crane that is mostly grey with a black head and neck with a red crown on the head.
- Both the sexes of Black Necked Crane are almost of the same size, but the male is slightly bigger than the female.
- The juveniles have a brownish head and neck and plumage is slightly paler than that of an adult.
Distribution and Habitat:
- The largest populations of the bird are in China with smaller numbers extending into Vietnam, Bhutan, and India.
- The high altitude wetlands in the Tibetan plateau are the main breeding ground of the species.
- The major wintering breeding grounds are in Tibet, Yunnan and Guizhou (China), and Bhutan. A small wintering population is also found in the Sangti and Zimithang valleys of Arunachal Pradesh.
- The black-necked crane is central to Buddhist mythology and culture. According to a World Wide Fund for Nature(WWF), previous incarnations of the Dalai Lama were carried from monastery to monastery on the backs of these holy birds.
- The Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir in India considers it as the state bird.
- IUCN Red List: Near Threatened
- CITES: Appendix I
- Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I
Threats: The major threats are:
- Loss and degradation of habitat
- Wetlands being extensively affected by human activity including irrigation, dam construction, draining, and grazing pressure among others.
- Worldwide Fund for Nature-India (WWF-India) in collaboration with the Department of Wildlife Protection, Jammu & Kashmir has been working towards the conservation of high altitude wetlands, with black-necked cranes as a priority species in the Ladakh region.
Source: Indian Express