Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday exhorted farmers and people of the state to come forward for conservation of the crane, which was also the state bird. Speaking at a two-day international symposium at his home village Saifai in Etawah, he said it was important not only to save cranes but also to ensure that the wetlands, which was their habitat, were also protected.
Underlining how of the total population of cranes in India, 60 percent was in Uttar Pradesh, the chief minister said people should realize that the cranes were very friendly to humans and also gave them the message of living with a partner all through the life span. He also said that the Shekha lake had been chosen for development as a world lake and it would be beautified to make it world class. He also assured the experts from all over the world who are attending the symposium that funds would not be a constraint in implementing their suggestions. Akhilesh Yadav also released a coffee table book "Crane - A pictorial Life History", books "Crane Constituency" and "Bird Festival - a report" and pen drives where works "UP Eco-Tourism" and "Birds of UP" had been loaded. On the occasion, a MoU was also exchanged for the conservation of wetlands and cranes between the state forest department and the International Crane Foundation. Experts from India, Nepal, Myanmar, Vietnam and Cambodia are attending the symposium. Other than them, wetland experts from various countries, representatives of the Bombay Natural History Society, International Crane Foundation and the Wild Fowl Trust also took part. Cranes are found in India in states like UP, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and parts of Maharashtra. There are six species of cranes in India but Saras is the most common.