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Noida: The forest department is on the lookout for two men who were allegedly spotted fishing in the waters of Dhanauri wetland, a major habitat for state bird sarus crane in the Dankaur area. The unidentified men were photographed by a birder on Wednesday and did not seem to belong to the nearby villages, officials said.
With its notification under the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules pending, there is no mechanism in place to conserve the area. Fishing in the wetlands, however, could pose a threat to the sarus cranes — a vulnerable species listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) — and the several other birds found here.
“Fishing in these waters is likely to disturb the birds, especially sarus cranes, which have already started nesting this time, a little early than usual. The water in the wetland is in surplus at present, which perhaps adds to their sense of security, but if intruders keep coming to the wetland, it may create problems for the bird,” said Jaswinder Waraich, who spotted the two men fishing and submitted their photographs to the forest department.
When approached, GB Nagar divisional forest officer (DFO) Pramod Kumar Srivastava told TOI that the wetland did not fall under their purview but the department was initiating steps to identify the two fishermen.
“We suspect they are not the local people but some outsiders. We will meet the chief executive officer of the Yamuna Authority (under whose jurisdiction the wetland comes) on Friday about the incident as there is a need to find a solution for the protection of the wetland.”
At present, 60 bird species, including bluethroat, red-headed buntings, garganey ducks, baillon’s crake and ruddy-breasted crake, are found in Dhanauri besides the resident bird sarus crane. The number is higher during the winter.
Harsh Wardhan, a bird watcher and Dhanauri resident, said: “Dhanauri wetland needs to be protected from such trespassers. In January, some policemen were deputed near the wetland, but they are no longer seen now. In the absence of security, the wetland will be prone to such disturbances.”



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