Do you know your state or city bird? In western India, Rajasthan state has chosen animal mascots to represent each of its districts (or counties). This is an effort to highlight the wildlife wealth of the state, while also bringing attention to the ecology of specific districts associated with each mascot.
We are proud to announce that two crane species are included in the final list that was ratified by the State Wildlife Board in October 2015. Sarus Cranes, the world’s tallest crane, will represent Bharatpur district in celebration of the world-famous Keoladeo-Ghana National Park. In addition, Demoiselle Cranes, the smallest crane (known for migrating over the Himalayas), will represent Jodhpur district to recognize the village of Keechan, where local people feed tens of thousands of these wintering cranes each year.
We are delighted to be part of this important process that will help highlight the importance of wetland habitats for cranes in Rajasthan. The wetlands of Rajasthan are critically important for the wintering populations of Demoiselle and Eurasian Cranes, along with a very important resident population of Sarus Cranes.
Other animals chosen for the state mascots include the tiger and blackbuck. However, we feel that the people of Bharatpur and Jodhpur districts are the luckiest with their beautiful crane mascots!
Story submitted by Dr. Gopi Sundar, SarusScape Program Director for the International Crane Foundation and member of the Rajasthan State Wildlife Board. Click here to learn more about our work in South/Southeast Asia.