Arun Kumar Tripathi*
Associate Professor, Department of Zoology, Sacred Heart Degree College, Sitapur (U.P.), India
The Indian Sarus Crane, Grus antigone is forced to use habitats that resemble natural wetlands, i.e. flooded paddy fields, and thus become more vulnerable. Today, the best Sarus Crane populations are found in areas which have a mix of natural wetlands in the landscape, and where the traditional major crop has been rice, e.g. as in South Western Uttar Pradesh. There are hardly any areas left in the country where pesticides are not used to improve the production of crops. As a result, deaths due to poisoning after application of pesticides are perhaps the most important threat for the state bird of Uttar Pradesh presently, next only to the destruction of its natural habitat. Because of its proximity to humans and their activities, most of the other threats that the Sarus faces also revolve around anthropogenic activities. These include removal of eggs and chicks from nests by the villagers, feral dogs, crows etc. for food when adults leave to defend territories. Sarus Crane is also considered inauspicious by the village folks and therefore they drive them away from their village. To quantify this conflict and its impact on the population, and to provide information for a management strategy to conserve the Sarus Crane particularly in an agricultural landscape, author undertook a detailed study on status and ecology of the Sarus Crane in district Sitapur.
Keywords: Sarus Crane, paddy fields, pesticides, anthropogenic activities