Breeding performance of the Indian sarus crane in the agricultural landscape of western India

  • Mukherjee A
  • Borad C
  • Parasharya B
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Abstract

The breeding performance of the Indian sarus crane Grus antigone antigone Linn. was studied in the agricultural landscape of western India during 1996-1998. Detailed records of 70 nests were maintained from egg laying till fledging. At least one chick hatched from 50 clutches (71.43%). Nineteen clutches (27.14%) were destroyed due to various factors, but at least 7 pairs re-nested. Egg mortality was mainly due to flooding (7.35%), predation (11.03%) and conflict with farmers (8.09%). Chick mortality due to predation was 8.24% and to unknown factors was 30%. Number of chicks hatched and number fledged did not differ significantly in different microhabitats. Average breeding success was 25.74%. Breeding success was comparatively lower in paddy crop fields than in other microhabitats due to human disturbance and higher predation risk. The juveniles formed only 10.14% of the total sarus sighted during the post-breeding period. An increasing conflict of sarus crane with the farmers in the agricultural landscape is a matter of concern for sarus crane conservation. The economic loss due to nesting in the crop field, if compensated, will help in sarus crane conservation. © 2002 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Breeding performance
  • Conflict
  • Conservation
  • Fresh recruitment
  • Grus antigone
  • Paddy crop agroecosystem
  • Sarus crane

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Authors

  • Aeshita Mukherjee

  • C. K. Borad

  • B. M. Parasharya

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