A total of 14 black-necked cranes have arrived in Bumdeling, Trashiyangtse as of yesterday, with the first pair arriving on October 5.

Officials said that around 100 cranes are expected to arrive by February next year in Bumdeling. The number of cranes flying in deceased to 91 last year from 108 in 2015.

Park manager with the Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary (BWS), Karma Tempa, said that although no causalities to the cranes were reported in recent years, the possible reasons for the decreased number could be because of disturbance at the cranes’ feeding grounds.

He added that because of the limited number of feeding grounds (paddy fields) due to floods, the number of cranes could have decreased. “After the flood, most paddy fields are left unattended,” he said. “Another reason could also be from the increasing number of stray dogs in the area.”

To draw more number of cranes, the park and residents have started two crane conservation support groups in Bumdeling and Yangtse each.

The groups clean and clear any obstacles that could possibly disturb the flight of the cranes at the roosting area.

Karma Tempa said that in the 12th Plan, BWC plans to expand the agriculture land in the area to attract more cranes. Sterilisation programme on stray dogs and awareness campaigns to locals are included in the Plan.

The migration period for the cranes starts in October and lasts until February. By the end of March, the last group of cranes leaves their winter ground for higher altitudes.

Younten Tshedup |  Trashigang