About Sarus Crane
- It is world’s tallest flying omnivorous bird, which is over 5 feet on average.
- It is State bird of Uttar Pradesh.
- Sarus Crane is non-migratory crane found in parts of the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia and Australia.
- It is India’s only resident breeding crane.
- International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) status: Vulnerable
- Natural wetlands with low water depth, marshy and fallow areas and agricultural fields.
- The agricultural fields and wetlands of eastern Uttar Pradesh are home to largest number of Sarus Crane in India.
- It is mainly found on the lowlands along the Gangetic plains of Uttar Pradesh and in larger wetlands of Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Assam.
- The bird is a social creature, found mostly in pairs or small groups of three or four. They are known to mate for life with a single partner.
- They play a vital role in ecological balance by controlling the population of harmful insects and have significant cultural importance.
- Habitat loss and degradation due to draining the wetland and conversion of land for agriculture.
- Electrocution (death or serious injury caused by electric shock) due to power transmission lines in agricultural areas
- Poisoning due to ingestion of pesticides from agricultural fields.
- Hunting of adults
- Collection of eggs and chicks for trade, food, medicinal purposes and to help limit damage to crops and to help limit damage to crops.
- Change in the cropping pattern from paddy to sugarcane.
- Owing to the successful conservation efforts, the population of Sarus Crane has constantly been increasing in Uttar Pradesh from 2013 onwards.
- One of the important conservation effort to conserve the population of Sarus Crane is the Sarus Crane Conservation Project, running across 10 districts of eastern UP since 2013.
About Sarus Crane Conservation Project
- The Project has been running across 10 districts of Purvanchal by Wildlife Trust of India in collaboration with Tata Trusts and the U.P. Forest Department.
- It sought to involve local communities (called Sarus Mitra or Friends of the Sarus), in monitoring and protecting Sarus Crane and the wetlands that sustain it.
- It also assists the U.P. state in developing projects to enhance Sarus crane conservation initiatives.