Sarus Crane

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    In News

    • Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) Forest Department has relocated a sarus crane, U.P. ‘s State bird, from Mandka village in Amethi to Raebareli’s Samaspur Bird Sanctuary.

    About Sarus Crane

    • Scientific Name: Grus antigone

    Features:

    • The Sarus crane is the world’s tallest flying bird.  The birds are predominantly gray, with long, pale red legs. Their naked head is red, as is their neck. 
    • Juveniles have buff feathers on their head and slightly darker plumage.

    Habitat

    • The Sarus crane is known for its ability to live in association with humans, inhabiting open, cultivated, well watered plains, marshlands and jheels. These areas suit them well for foraging, roosting and nesting.
    • These birds nest on the ground. A bulky nest is formed from wetland vegetation. 
    • They are found in open wetlands in South Asia, seasonally flooded Dipterocarpus forests in Southeast Asia, and Eucalyptus -dominated woodlands and grasslands in Australia.

    Distribution

    • Continents : Oceania, Asia.
    • Subcontinents: Southeast Asia, East Asia, South Asia.
    • Countries: Australia, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Viet Nam, Bangladesh.
    • In the Indian subcontinent, it is found in northern and central India, Terai Nepal and Pakistan. 
    • It was once a common site in the paddy fields of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Assam. Their population is now on the decline in India, a majority of which are in Uttar Pradesh. 

    Threats

    • Sarus cranes are threatened mainly by loss of habitat, due to drainage of wetlands, agricultural expansion and human development.
    • The use of pesticides, as well as collisions with wires, are important threats. 
    • Cranes are also commonly targeted by humans hunting and egg collecting. 

    Conservation Status

    • They are classified as vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red list of threatened species.
    • Listed in Schedule IV of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. 

    Samaspur Bird Sanctuary

    • It is situated in the Rohaniya Development block of the Raebareli district, on Lucknow-Varanasi highway. 
    • It was created in 1987 with the aim of protection and conservation of the wetland with special emphasis to the local and migratory birds, conservation of their natural habitat including aquatic plants and animals.
    • More than 250 varieties of birds can be seen here. Some of the birds come here from a distance of 5000 k.m. which include Greleg Googe, Pin Tail, Common Teel, Vision, Showler, Surkhab etc. 
    • Local birds include Comb Duck, Whistling Teel, Spot Bill, Spoon Bill, King Fisher, Vulture etc. Twelve varieties of fish are there in the lake at Samaspur.
    • Migratory birds come from more than 5000 kilometers away to spend some time in pleasant weather.

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