India records arrival of black-necked crane
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Last Updated: Friday, January 06, 2012, 16:46
  
Itanagar: Black-necked crane, a rare bird species found in high altitude, has been spotted at Zemithang valley in Arunachal Pradesh by the Indian chapter of the World Wildlife Fund for the first time.

So long there were only reports of the bird's sighting in the valley in Twang district, located at an altitude of 2000 metres above sea level near the China border, but no photographic evidence.

Bird-watchers are thrilled at the prospect of seeing the rare bird which is believed to be an embodiment of the sixth Dalai Lama by Tibetan Buddhists and is revered by the Monpas.

After eluding scientific documentation for years, the WWF (India) has come out with photographic records of seven black-necked cranes in the Zemithang valley so far this year.

The senior coordinator of WWF-India's Western Arunachal Landscape Programme, Pijush Kumar Dutta, said that the cranes were spotted by Lham Tsering of Pangchen Lumpo Muchat Community Conserved Area (CCA) and Kokti of Pangchen Lakhar, the only two community conserved areas in the state.

One of the seven birds is only a year-old and took the first flight to India from the breeding site in the wetlands of the Tibetan plateau.

Though there were reports of black-necked cranes spending winter in Zemithang, there was no ?authentic? first-hand documentation. Last year, we photographed the arrival of black-necked cranes at Zemithang, Dutta said.

The birds are found in India, China and Bhutan and breed in high-altitude wetlands of the Tibetan plateau of China and eastern Ladakh in India at an elevation ranging from 2950 to 4900 meters above mean sea level.

During winter, the birds flock to Tibet, Yunnan and Guizhou in China and Phobjika and Bomdaling valleys in Bhutan and in Arunachal Pradesh's Sangte and Zemithang valleys.

The global population of black-necked crane is estimated to be 11,000 and is included in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) vulnerable category.

PTI


First Published: Friday, January 06, 2012, 16:46


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