White Siberian cranes face extinction

Ulhas Joglekar ulhasj at SPAMbom4.vsnl.net.in
Tue Nov 21 18:57:08 MST 2000



Saturday
18 November 2000

White Siberian cranes face extinction
NEW DELHI: Indiscriminate shooting and trapping of White Siberian cranes
during their flight to India via Afghanistan and Pakistan have resulted in
the depletion of their population, a report said.
According to the special BBC (Urdu) report on Wednesday night, hunters of
White Siberian cranes set up camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan at the onset
of winter, when these long-legged birds flock to India from Siberia.
One method of catching them is to imitate their cry while they fly over
these camps, the report said. On hearing the cry, the birds, considered
foolish, stop their onward flight and start hovering around the camp, giving
a chance to the hunters to shoot and trap them.
In Afghanistan, the hunters use even sophisticated weapons to shoot the bird
down, says the BBC report. However, the report did not say what the hunters
do with these birds.
Some hunters told the BBC that they have not seen crane flocks flying over
their territory for about two years. They might have changed their route,
the hunters said.
The report said cranes lay only two eggs a year and generally only one chick
survives. (UNI)
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