Black Necked Crane

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 1, 2022, 11:58

The Black Necked Crane is an endangered bird species distinguished with its red crown. They are found in the high-altitude wetlands. They have recently come under great danger due to habitat loss and damage to their offspring by feral dogs.

Black Necked Crane Characteristics

The size of both sexes is nearly equal. Males, on the other hand, are slightly larger than females. The long neck, head, and primary and secondary flying feathers of the black-necked crane are almost entirely black. The rest of the body is a light grey/white shade. A prominent red crown decorates the head of the bird. The bill is slightly green in colour, and all the limbs of the bird are black in colour. The plumage of juveniles is paler than that of adults, with a slight brown neck and head.

Habitat of the Black Necked Crane

The Tibetan plateau's high-altitude wetlands are the species' main breeding habitats. Birds can successfully breed in these marshes with little mounds. These birds spend the winter at the lower part of the heights, primarily eating residual rice and potato fields. These birds nests in wetlands at high altitudes on the Tibetan plateau, between 2950 and 4900 metres above sea level, and can be found in India, China, and Bhutan.

The Tibetan Plateau (Tibet, Qinghai, Xinjiang, Gansu), Sichuan (China), and eastern Ladakh are reported nesting areas for these birds (India). The most massive wintering flocks can be found in Tibet, Yunnan, Guizhou (China), and Bhutan.

Black Necked Crane Significance

The Monpas (Arunachal Pradesh's largest Buddhist ethnic group) regard the bird as a manifestation of the Dalai Lama, the sixth Dalai Lama (Tsangyang Gyatso).

Monpas, who live in the West Kameng and Tawang areas, are mainly Mahayana Buddhists.

Conservation issues faced by Black Necked Crane

The most severe threat to the black-necked cranes' breeding is wild dog damage to eggs and chicks. Both the armed forces and the nomads in the area own these dogs. The bird is also concerned about habitat loss. Human impact on wetlands, cranes' natural habitat, has increased considerably in the last decade. The grazing activity on the wetlands has increased substantially, which is now posing a great threat to the Black Necked Crane population.

WWF takes the Initiatives

WWF-India has worked with the Department of Wildlife Protection in Jammu and Kashmir for more than a decade to conserve these wetlands that serve as a habitat to these cranes.

Several local communities are now significantly contributing to the protection of these cranes. They want to come with something that saves these birds for a long time. The WWF is actively working in Arunachal Pradesh as the population there is highly endangered.

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FAQs on Black Necked Crane

Q.1) What physical feature of the Black Necked Crane sets the bird apart?

The Black Necked Crane has a red crown that differs from other birds.

Q.2) Where can the Black Necked Crane be found in Arunachal Pradesh?

The Black Necked Crane can be found in Sangti valley, Chug Valley and Zemithang.

Q.3) Which organisation is working towards saving the Black Necked Crane population?

The WWF, or the World Wildlife Fund, is taking the initiative to save the population of Black Necked Crane.