MONITORING AUTUMN MIGRATION OF DEMOISELLE CRANE
The Demoiselle Crane (Grus virgo Linnaeus, 1758), 90-100 cm tall bird, has a wide global distribution. Breeding population is distributed in six main populations such as 1) North West Africa/Atlas, 2) Black Sea, 3) Turky, 4)Kalmykia, 5)Kazakastan/Central Asia and 6) Eastern Asia. East Asian breeding population is distributed in Mangolia, Sibaria and China.
According to BirdLife International (2016) the species’ population trend is increasing, although some populations are decreasing, stable or have unknown trends. However, considering its wide range of distribution and high number of estimated global populations, BirdLife International has evaluated this bird as Least Concern in its IUCN RedList.
Demoiselle Cranes are long distant migrant bird; take one of the toughest migrations in the world. Breeding birds from Mongolia, China and Siberia (East Asia) cross the Himalayas and winters mostly in Gujarat and Rajasthan of India. Their autumn migration occurs in late August – October through the narrow Himalayan valleys i.e. kaligandaki and karnali of Nepal. Thus, systematic counts throughout the autumn migration period at migratory routes for some years would be of great value to understand the population trends Of East Asian population.
For birds migrate through kaligandaki valley, First systematic count was carried out from 27 September to 24 October 2016 at Samar, Upper Mustang resulting 14,448 individuals of Demoiselle Crane. Migration will be monitored from same location for some coming years.