Demoiselle Cranes Take Flight From Khichan
Crane conservationist Sevaram Mali Parihar spotted 1,500 to 2,000 Demoiselle Cranes flying high over Khichan, indicating their departure for the season.
Photo: Sevaram Mali Parihar.
Every year at the onset of winter, these migratory cranes journey across 5,500 km. from Mongolia, China and Serbia to arrive in the village of Khichan, Rajasthan. Their journey is covered over a period of 180 days. Out of the 20,000 cranes that had arrived at Khichan last winter, 18,000 still remain in the area, with 2000 cranes having embarked on their journey back. By March end, all of the cranes are expected to have left for the summer. The cranes will return to Khichan later in the year, in the first week of September.
Though protected by Mali and members of the local community, the cranes face threat from high tension power lines in and around Khichan. Mali says that placing the high-tension cables underground and building a bird rescue centre in the area will ensure the safety of these birds.
While the land has been allotted for the bird rescue centre, Narendra Singh Shekhawat Assistant Conservator of Forests Phalodi said “A letter was written to the authorities for the budget regarding the bird rescue centre. Once the funds come through, the construction work will begin”.
Mali informed Sanctuary that a budget of five lakh rupees has been approved by the authorities. The funds are expected to arrive within a period of 15-20 days.
“After years of pressurising the authorities, the high tension wires from one particular area were finally shifted underground. Only a new proposal for construction of about four lakh forty thousand tension wires, a mere 700 metres away from the old site has come through. This proposal is nothing short of a death sentence for all the birds of the region. We need to stop this at all costs”, said Mali.
Mali along with the help of the locals has taken the issue to the high court, and is awaiting a judgement. Meanwhile, the towers for the electrical wires have already been erected, though the authorities have desisted from drawing the wires, till the court passes a judgement.
Additional Source: Patrika