Tawang: With the onset of winter, Arunachal Pradesh has once again become a hot spot for birdwatchers as the picturesque Northeastern state becomes a temporary home for migratory birds. As with previous years, black-necked cranes (Grus nigricollis) have now descended upon the Panchen Valley of Tawang district on their journey from the Tibetan plateau.
Earlier last month, the snow-clad valley witnessed the first batch of the black-necked cranes that culturally protected and revered in Buddhist traditions. On November 3, two black-necked cranes reportedly landed in the area along the Nyamjang Chhu river. Two days later, the second batch of four birds boarded reached their winter abode on November 5.
Panchen Valley, also known as Zemithang, is a paradise for some of the rarest and most engendered creatures including the Red Panda.
Recently, there were some other reports of the black-necked cranes being sighted at the Sangti Valley of West Kameng district. Up to four cranes were reportedly spotted at the place during that time.
However, locals in the Panchen Valley say that the number of the visiting birds has dramatically dwindled over the years. This has raised concerns among them, apart from environmentalists and conservationists. Degin Dorjee, a local resident, said, “Human interventions have been interrupting the annual visit of these rare birds. Sand mining and road construction leading to blasting activities have contributed to a reduction in their numbers over the years.”
The black-necked cranes are listed as ‘vulnerable’ as per the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. They are also protected under the WildLife (Protection) Act, 1972.