The Annual Black Necked Crane count by the Royal Society of Protection of Nature (RSPN) has recorded a drop in the BNC population visiting the country annually compared to last year.
From the highest number of crane recorded last year with 609 individuals including 68 juveniles, this year the RSPN has recorded only 555 with 52 juveniles’ cranes visiting in various crane habitats in the country.
The count is made by RSPN in February as the migration of Black-necked Cranes (Grus nigricollis) from China is usually considered complete.
The number of Black-necked Cranes in various habitats in the country are at its peak at this time of the year and it is the perfect time to conduct the annual count.
The cranes arrive to their winter habitat from October every year in the country and depart for their summer habitat to Tibet from the February month onwards. The cranes are known to roost in the country for five long months as their winter home.
As per the RSPN report on the annual crane count, Phobjikha valley which is considered as the prime habitat of the crane in Bhutan alone recorded a total of 437 cranes of which 44 was juvenile.
The second prime habitat of the BNC in Bumdeling under Trashiyangtse dzongkhag which recorded of about 92 cranes of which 86 were adult cranes and 12 were juvenile.
Meanwhile this year Bumthang saw a significant drop in the number of crane count compared to the previous years. This year only 10 cranes were sighted in the crane habitat in Bumthang.
Similarly 12 cranes was counted in Khotokha under Wangduephodrang dzongkhag this year.
Lhuentse saw only four cranes but Lhuentse is not a popular habitat of the BNC. It is only from 1992 that the cranes started to spend their winter months in the locality.
A group of six was reported to have spotted in their winter stamping ground in Dungkar, in 2013 winter as well.
The annual BNC count last year recorded a total of 609 which as per the RSPN is the highest number of crane count made in the past 30 winter records maintained with RSPN.
The bird is regarded it as one of the most endangered bird species.