Why in News?                                                                                                        

The Wildlife Institute of India and the Zoological Survey of India have been carrying out assessment of the black-necked cranes. As per the survey conducted by Wildlife Institute of India in 2016-2017 in Ladakh region, the population size of black necked crane was around 66-69 individuals. In Arunachal Pradesh, a small population of approximately 11 individuals arrives during winter months. This information was given by Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.

What is Black Necked Crane?

  • The Black-Necked Crane (Grus nigricollis) is classed as a medium-sized member of the crane family.
  • Habitat: The high-altitude wetlands in the Tibetan plateau are the main breeding ground of the species. These wetlands with small mounds provide an excellent habitat to the birds for breeding.
  • Distribution: This species is found in India, China and Bhutan and breeds in high altitude wetlands in the Tibetan plateau at elevations of 2950-4900 m above mean sea level.
  • Threats: Habitat loss and degradation related to climate change, changes in agriculture practices, pollution and environmental contamination.
  • IUCN Status – Near Threatned.
  • Important steps taken to taken to protect bird –
  • The Black-necked Crane (Grus nigricollis) is listed in Schedule I of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, thereby according them the highest degree of protection.
  • The species is also listed in Appendix I of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora and the Convention on conservation of Migratory Species.
  • The important habitats of Black-necked Crane have been notified as a Protected Areas, for example, Changthang Sanctuary, Ladakh.
  • The Tso Kar Wetlands Complex, an important foraging and breeding ground for Black-necked Crane has been designated as a Ramsar Site in December 2020.