English | Dzongkha Saturday, May 8, 2021

Crane Karma is male,test confirms the gender after 3 years

Sonam Pem
Aug 22, 2019

Following three years of attempt to determine Crane Karma’s gender, it was finally found that Crane Karma is a male earlier this week. It was all possible with the help of the Japanese experts from the National Museum of Nature and Science. The Japanese team was provided with feather samples of Crane Karma to determine its gender.

Juvenile Crane Karma was found in 2016 with neck injuries and broken left-wing which left him permanently flightless.

The RSPN in the past tried to find out the gender but did not get any conclusive result. The officials say it is quite difficult to identify the gender as there is no distinctive physical difference between a male crane and a female crane. Moreover, RSPN team is confronted with the lack of expertise and facility.

“To determine Crane Karma’s gender, we collaborated with experts from Japan led by Professor Nishiumi of National Museum of Nature and Science. Now that we know Crane Karma’s gender, we can plan to bring in a mate for Crane Karma so that it can breed and start a family,” Jigme Tshering, the Deputy Chief Project Officer of RSPN, said.

A new rehabilitation centre has been constructed in Phobjikha to offer care and treatment for injured cranes like Karma. RSPN records show such injury cases in the wild are quite common. And stray and feral dogs are a major threat to the cranes across all the habitats in the country.

“Like Karma, we sometimes encounter injured black-necked cranes here in Phobjikha valley. So the aviary will cater to such incidences. The aviary will be equipped with first aid medication kits.”Jigme Tshering added.

The Royal Society for Protection of Nature keeps count of the cranes every year. And from 2018 till August this year, the country saw 609 black-necked cranes. Officials say that the overall population of cranes has been increasing in Bhutan.

Black-necked crane is listed as an endangered species in International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species.

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