Crane population in UP rises by nearly 1,000

Lucknow, Aug 22 (IANS) The state bird of Uttar Pradesh — the crane — has seen a steady rise in population, with nearly 1,000 new members added to the flock this year, forest officials said on Saturday.

Officials said the addition of 938 new members this year was accomplished with sustained efforts in breeding and conservation.

“Special efforts have been made by the forest department over the years and it is now that results have started showing,” said a forest official overseeing the project.

The forest department conducts a census of these cranes every year.

The population of cranes in the state’s wetlands last year was 12,362, which has now risen to 13,300.

But birds born this season have not been counted, and thus the population may rise further, the official said.

Cranes have for long been treated as friends of farmers as they eat small worms and insects that damage crops.

But due to the depletion of wetlands, increasing pollution and use of pesticides, the crane population dwindled.

The state government had last year initiated a project to enhance and conserve the wetlands, which seems to have started showing results.

A crane protection society has also been set up by the state which is working to protect the bird and ensure that the process of its extinction is arrested.

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