Sarus cranes spotted in Kailali after seven yearsThe bird, enlisted on IUCN’s red list of threatened species, started to disappear in the area due to heavy encroachment of wetland areas, its major habitat.
The Sarus crane (Grus antigone), the world’s tallest flying bird, has been spotted in Bhajani area of Kailali district after seven years.
The Sarus cranes were a common sight in the district in the past; however, according to Hirulal Dagaura, a local, the bird species had not been sighted in the district since 2012.
“Three Sarus cranes were spotted in different areas in the Bhajani area in the past few days,” said Dagaura. The three birds were spotted in Mantri Phanta, Jhapti lake and Chharlaiya lake in Bhajani. Dagaura believes they could be a couple and a baby, as the bird species are always found in pairs.
According to conservationists, Sarus cranes had started to disappear from Kailali due to the encroachment of wetland areas, the major habitat of the bird species.
The Sarus crane is mostly found in the Indian Sub-continent. And in 2000, the large non-migratory bird was enlisted in the IUCN red list of threatened species after its population dwindled. Conservationists said the threatened species are dying at an increasing rate in the country in recent years.
It is estimated that there are around 500 to 700 Sarus cranes in Nepal currently. Among them, about 300 are found in Kapilvastu, Rupandehi and Nawalparasi districts.
“The Sarus lives in agricultural fields, forests and wetland areas. To conserve the bird, it is important that local communities participate in, and take ownership of, conservation efforts,” Dagaura said.
According to existing legal provisions, one will be fined Rs 500 to Rs 100,000 or jailed three months to two years (or both) for killing a Sarus crane, destroying its eggs or smuggling the threatened bird species.