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Reports

MoEF urges range states to conserve cranes



Jan 6, 2012

PUNE: The Union ministry of environment and forests, Bombay Natural History Society, World Wildlife Fund, India, and Wetlands International, a non-governmental organisation, have urged range states - India, China and Bhutan - to cooperate for the conservation of the black-necked crane, a unique species found in the Himalayan high-altitude wetlands.

The term 'range state' refers to the countries in which a particular species or biotope is usually found.

Experts from these organisations highlighted the urgent need for a regional initiative and collaborative action between the three countries to conserve this species and its habitat. The issue was discussed at the 10th Conference of Parties of Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals held recently at Bergen, Norway.

Black-necked cranes are threatened by human encroachment, feral dogs, grazing pressure around wetlands, increasing tourism and unplanned developmental activities. The state bird of Jammu and Kashmir, the species breeds in the Tibetan Plateau, from Ladakh in north India and south-western and western Tibet to the central and eastern parts of Qinghai province of China, the experts said.

The major non-breeding populations of the bird are found in China and Bhutan, with a few birds wintering in the northeastern part of India. The species is generally found at an altitude of 3,000-5,000 m above mean sea level in open wetlands and meadows.

It is listed in Appendix I of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species and is classified as 'vulnerable' in the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species. The species has been placed in Schedule-I of the Indian Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. China has categorised the bird in the highest class of protection by listing it as endangered in 'class A'.

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