Sarus Crane is a bird of wetlands. It is the tallest flying bird in the world. The cranes are generally seen in pairs and in flocks.
- To ascertain the exact limits of the distribution of Sarus crane
- To find out the habitat requirement of the Sarus Crane
- To estimate the total number of Sarus Cranes in India
- To find out people’s attitude towards the Sarus Crane
- To record information about migratory cranes wintering in India
Linear transects were taken on field and a questionnaire was prepared to carry out the survey.
From the total number of Sarus seen along transects the estimate of the number Sarus for a particular area was derived.
- The earlier distribution of Sarus (from Sind in the west to Burma border in the east and Kashmir in the north and Godavari basin in the south) has narrowed down to mainly 4 states namely Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. In most of the other regions it occurs sporadically or has disappeared from these areas.
- Wetlands play an important role in the life of the Sarus. They serve as primary food source and ideal nesting habitats. Sarus utilizes cultivated areas for foraging and fallow lands and wastelands as gathering and loafing points but they are not found far away from water. It was observed that in the areas where the birds were numerous, the maintenance of large wetlands was a major factor contributing to the wellbeing of these birds.
- Most of the areas that supported good Sarus numbers were noted to be backward areas of the country.
- In some areas like Rajasthan, Gujarat and west and central Uttar Pradesh the Sarus is given partial or full protection while in other areas like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and east Uttar Pradesh it is considered as destroyer of crops or hunted for meat.
- The Sarus appeared to reside in areas where industrialization is localized and intensity of agriculture and population density are low.
The welfare of the Sarus Crane is dependent mainly on the status of wetlands and protection given by people. Today our wetlands are subject to pollution, utilization for industrial or agricultural purposes and other threats. The Sarus is not found away from human settlements. If the local people regulate their use of wetlands and give protection and shelter to the birds, the wetlands could be utilized by both people and birds.
Background: The 500 km long coastline between Mumbai and Goa on west coast is known as the Konkan region. The landscape of the Konkan region has been subject to changes due to anthropogenic activities like industrialization, urbanization, tourism and construction of roads and railways. Overexploitation (activities like fishing), inflow of industrial effluents, toxic materials, hot water flows are detrimental to marine life. Besides, these developmental activities are not beneficial to the local inhabitants. Coasts are an important link between terrestrial and marine ecosystems and hence need to be conserved. The conservation strategy should work towards the reconciliation of interests of biodiversity and local people.
1. To assess the current status of coastal habitat and biodiversity on the coastline between Mumbai and Goa
2. To determine biodiversity hotspots on this coastline
3. To investigate the degree of dependence of the local communities on the biodiversity for their living
4. To prepare a plan for conservation of biodiversity and its sustainable utilization for the benefit of the local population and traditional communities.
- Total 92 beaches on the coastline between Mumbai and Goa were surveyed from October 1996 to February 1998.
- Several parameters were identified to evaluate the quality of beaches – length and breadth of beaches, dune vegetation, protective vegetation, the variety and extent of the inter-tidal flora and fauna and the variety and number of nesting and wintering avifauna.
- The quality of mangroves was assessed on the basis of length and breadth of the patch, floral diversity, density of cover and height of trees.
- Biodiversity hotspots were identified based on parameters like the extent and variety of dune vegetation, the extent and variety of algal cover, the presence of a nest of the White-bellied Sea Eagle, the evidence of nesting of marine turtles (endangered animals) and the variety and abundance of marine animals of the inter-tidal zone. Scores were allotted to beaches on the basis of the status of these parameters.
- A survey was carried out among the fishermen residing along the coast in the stretch between Bankot and Malvan. The investigation included their harvesting methods of the natural resources around them, the way they meet their basic demands, their practices and traditions for protection and conservation of biodiversity.
- A proposal was prepared for biodiversity conservation taking participation of local people into account.
- Biodiversity – 50 varieties of algae, 27 species of mangroves and their associates, about 30 types of marine animals were recorded on the sandy and rocky beaches separately, 50? species of birds were noted on this stretch of coastline. Over 35 nests of the White-bellied Sea Eagle were seen. Over 25 beaches were noted where evidence of nesting of marine turtles was found.
- Biodiversity hotspots: The beach of Murud scored first and those of Guhagar and Ratnagiri in Ratnagiri district scored second among sandy beaches. The beaches of Ladghar-Burondi, Sandkhol and Bhudhal in Ratnagiri district scored highest and the beaches Murud-Janjira in Raigad district and that of Kolewadi in Sindhudurg district scored second highest among rocky beaches. Additional parameters like nearness of source of freshwater stream, nearness of mangroves and forest, exposure and shelter from wave direct wave action were considered. On the basis of these the Achra and Deogad beaches in Sindhudurg district scored highest among sandy beaches followed by Ladghar-Burondi from Ratnagiri district.
- Local communities – Among the fishermen, though the main occupation was fishing, buying and selling of fish, coconut and other produce, cattle herding and unskilled labor provided additional source of income. Most were dependent on the surrounding forest for fuelwood while some used kerosene as fuel. The wood required for boat construction was also obtained from the forest. But now there was scarcity of these tree species in the forest and wood had to be imported. Traditions and customs like using only traditional gear for fishing, no fishing during the spawning season of fish, closure of fishing and no consumption of fish during festivals, protection of sacred groves and fine and punishment to those who break the tradition etc. help to conserve marine life.
- A plan was proposed to create 5 biosphere reserves and 12 areas of special scientific interest for biodiversity conservation. Each reserve will be demarcated carefully and the total area of each reserve will have zones with core, restricted use and multiple use areas. Management plan should be formed in consultation with the local people and local NGOs.
- The identification of habitats that sustain biodiversity should be identified. Biodiversity is dependent on ecological processes supported by marine, estuarine and terrestrial factors. The transport of sediment and nutrients by streams from mountains to sea is a continuous process. It is therefore suggested that the conservation of coastal biodiversity should start from the restoration of streams and forests on the mountains followed by rejuvenation of creeks and estuaries and then the actual coastline.
For detail report you can contact us at Ecological Society
The Black-necked Crane is a globally endangered species. It is the bird of high altitude wetlands.
To check the occurrence of wintering Black-necked Cranes in Arunachal Pradesh and explore areas suitable for the cranes
- Black-necked Cranes were noted in Arunachal Pradesh according to earlier records.
- A survey of the valleys was undertaken to check if they still could be found there. Actual observations on the field were coupled with information obtained from the local inhabitants.
- A hitherto unknown valley was discovered where Black-necked Cranes were found to winter.
- Discussions were carried out with local people and government officials to form a people’s sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh for wintering Black-necked Cranes.
- It was found from earlier observations of wintering cranes in Bhutan that cranes used flat, broad valleys with cultivations and marshes. Buddhism with its benign attitude towards animals and birds was also reckoned to be a factor of considerable importance in locating these cranes. The regions explored were adjacent to India’s border with Bhutan.
- The cranes were found to winter in the Sangti valley in Arunachal Pradesh. The area around paddy fields was ideal as wintering habitat for cranes. The human culture was friendly and did not deprive the cranes of food, freedom of movement and shelter. The only factor of disturbance appeared to be use of dynamite for road construction.
- Habitat requirements of the Black-necked Crane - Black-necked Cranes were observed to obtain their food (grains) from stubble grain fields and it consisted mainly of rice with lesser amounts of wheat, maize and barley taken wherever available. Invertebrate food consisted of earthworms, beetles, worms and snails. Roosting requirements are supplied by marshes and river channels.
- The suitability of a roosting site was calculated taking 3 factors into account. First Photograph of Black Necked Crane in Ladakh, India
- Unobstructed view of greater than 100 m
- Mean depth of water between 10 and 30 cm
- Freedom from disturbance within defined distances
- The roosting suitability was worked out for 4 different valleys in Arunachal Pradesh viz. Sangti, Chukhow, Sareli and Seppa.
- A representative of the local people kept records of the cranes and motivated the children to record their observations of the cranes. The people told that the cranes did not damage their crops as they arrived after the harvesting of grains is over. It was agreed to control the human activities likely to disturb the cranes like use of dynamite during the stay of the cranes in the region. As the people’s attitude towards the cranes was found to be positive, it was decided that conservation of the cranes could be achieved by unofficial means. This led to the formation of a people’s sanctuary for Black-necked Crane.
Pune is situated at the confluence of the rivers Mula and Mutha. Due to the impact of the expanding city and the ever-increasing population, the natural vegetation and habitats of the river basin are in a degraded condition. The water quality has deteriorated due to the inflow of sewage and industrial effluents in the river channel. The biological oxygen demand (BOD) in the waters is very high. This has severely affected the fish and other aquatic life forms.
To prepare a plan for river basin management that focused on –
1) Improvement of water quality
2) Rejuvenation of riverine habitats
3) Providing space and streamlining the various uses of the river to the people
Initially, a survey of the river was conducted between the city limits that included study of physical features, biodiversity, existing habitats, encroachments on river basin and sources of pollution. Based on this survey, the management plan was prepared which had the following salient features –
- A mini water treatment plant to be constructed along the banks for every population of 20,000.
- Allocate space for regeneration of bank and other riparian vegetation, parks, gardens, playgrounds
- Allocate space for an aquatic bird sanctuary
- Allocate space for different uses like bathing, washing, cleaning of vehicles, religious rites etc.
The river fronts were so designed so as to restore the degraded natural elements, provide public facilities and encourage healthy recreation. For detail report you can contact at Ecological Society