As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Ladakh’s revered bird is under threat from human’s best friend – dogs



by Athar Parvaiz on 22 August 2018
The black-necked crane, the state bird of Jammu and Kashmir, is under threat from feral dogs that damage the bird eggs and chicks.
Another threat to the bird is the loss of habitat owing to the loss and degradation of wetlands and changing agricultural practices in both its breeding and wintering grounds.
Dog attacks on wildlife are a threat to species survival in India and researchers suggest responsible dog ownership, control of free-ranging behaviour to reduce interactions with wildlife and dog population management based on scientific research and techniques.
The dance of Chartses, a mating jig of the black-necked crane, is an important feature of every cultural programme or festival in Ladakh where the bird is revered among the people. Ladakhis, particularly those living in Changthang region, consider the black-necked crane not only culturally important, but a spiritual creature as well. Many monasteries have paintings of the crane along with other spiritual paintings.
They believe that sighting the giant bird is a sign of good luck.
But the beautiful creature, also the state bird of the mountainous Jammu & Kashmir, is under severe threat from humankind’s trusted friends – dogs. In Ladakh Himalayas the major threat to the successful breeding of black-necked crane is the damage caused to the eggs and chicks of the bird by feral dogs, according to World Wildlife Fund (WWF) India who claimed that “these dogs are owned both by armed forces as well as by the local nomads.”
Another threat to the bird is the loss of habitat. According to IUCN, the black-necked crane is classified as vulnerable because it has a single small population that is declining owing to the loss and degradation of wetlands and changing agricultural practices in both its breeding and wintering grounds.

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