POPULATION COMPOSITION AND DISTRIBUTION OF INDIAN SARUS CRANE GRUS ANTIGONE ANTIGONE IN GAUTAM BUDH NAGAR DISTRICT, WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO SURAJPUR WETLAND, NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION, INDIA
Indian Sarus Crane Grus antigone antigone is the world’s tallest flying bird and the State bird of Uttar Pradesh. The study was conducted in 15 small wetlands and paddy fields in the district Gautam Budh Nagar with special reference to Surajpur wetland. The district located in western Uttar Pradesh, which holds the highest number of Sarus Cranes in India. The study was conducted on monthly basis intensively for the period of 3 years from March 2010 to February 2013 in Surajpur wetland and occasional visits on fifteen sites of the district Gautam Budh Nagar following direct total count method. In Gautam Budh Nagar district, 6 individuals of in 2010, 4 in 2012, 14 in 2013 and 22 in 2014. In Surajpur wetland, yearly, a total of 65 Sarus Cranes in 2010-11, 31 in 2011-12 and 37 in 2012-13 were recorded; seasonally, summer recorded maximum number of Sarus Cranes (n=67) and monsoon recorded minimum number of Sarus Cranes (n=30). Month-wise, May recorded highest number and September recorded least number of Sarus Cranes in Surajpur wetland. The most common threat appeared to be the result of degradation of wetlands and use of pesticides in agricultural development. The data collected could be useful in further planning of research and conservation efforts in the district and elsewhere.