Population of Black Necked Cranes on the rise in Phobjikha
November 22: One of the world’s endangered species of birds – the Black Necked Cranes have started flying to their winter habitats in the country. Phobjikha, one of the biggest feeding wetlands has accommodated more than 150 birds already this winter.
According to villager elders, the population of Black Necked Cranes in the valley is increasing over the years.
Eighty-year-old Angay Tandin Om from Gangtey village said the flock of cranes arrive circling the 16th century Gantey monastery which provides a special blessing for the village.
Most village elders in Gangtey and Phobjikha agree with Angay Tandin and say the crane population is increasing in the valley. Ap Tandin said government initiative to preserve the habitat could be one of the reasons.
Records maintained by the information centre of the Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN) in Phobjikha, the valley saw more than 320 Black Necked Cranes last year compared to only about 200 plus about five years ago.
Dr. Rebecca Pradhan, an ecologist with the RSPN said the organization among several other aciitivies to protect the bird also maintains the marshy wetlands. RSPN has also introduced nature trails for local villagers and tourists to avoid them from going near the birds.
Dr. Rebecca Pradhen said more birds migrate to Phobjikha also because the other winter habitat in Bomdeling has been disturbed by floods in the past.
As these birds continue to arrive, the valley has also become a hot spot for tourists with hundreds of them arriving to see the endangered birds.