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Gujarat villagers turn farmland into artificial swamp to save Sarus Crane eggs

A Saras crane couple in the family way has found surprise custodians in the people of Ganasar village, eight kilometres away from Motown Sanand.

In their zeal to protect two eggs laid in a farm, villagers have turned the one-acre agricultural plot into a makeshift ‘artificial wetland’ – filling it with water brought in pots and with a makeshift canal – and are keeping an almost 24×7 vigil to ensure the two eggs are not attacked by wild animals or dogs.

The farm owned by one Bachubhai Thakore is now the most frequented spot by villagers, who are brimming with excitement over the likely hatching of the eggs anytime next week.

Saras cranes are a critically endangered species. In the last census by the State Forest Department in 2010, there were 1,900 of them in Gujarat.

The number is feared to have declined to around 600 though a formal count has not taken place in the past decade.

The village’s collective effort for the safety of the birds is commendable. For the past one month, they have done everything possible to ensure that the eggs are not harmed.

This is the only plot where machines were not used and harvesting was done by hand.

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