Lesser Adjutant Rescued In Assam
In the last week of February, Manoj Gogoi, Sanctuary’s Mud on Boots Project leader in Assam rescued a Lesser Adjutant Stork Leptoptilos javanicus from Jorhat, a town located 96 km. from Kaziranga.
Photo: Manoj Gogoi.
The stork, found entangled in string in a field, was very weak at the time of the rescue. Presently, it is being treated by Gogoi under the supervision of the forest department.
The Lesser Adjutant’s identifying features are its bare head, elongated neck and legs, and an upright stance. Usually a solitary bird, the Lesser Adjutant forms groups during the breeding season. Its nests are constructed in areas that have tall trees and thick undergrowth. An interesting behaviour noted in Lesser Adjutants is that the male of the species chooses the nest. The species is listed as globally vulnerable by the IUCN Red List, owing to its rapidly-declining numbers caused by habitat destruction, loss of nesting trees and hunting pressure. Their estimated global population stands at 10,000 individuals.
This stork has an extensive range across south and south-east Asia. In India, the species is found in pockets of Assam, West Bengal and Bihar. In Assam, felling of colony nest trees poses a major threat to these birds. Nesting stork colonies outside protected areas in Assam witnessed a drastic decline due to logging, felling and drying up of feeding sites.