Greater Adjutant: World’s most endangered Stork sighted in Munger District for the first time

Greater Adjutant: World’s most endangered Stork sighted in Munger District for the first time

Greater Adjutant being the world’s most endangered Stork is sighted for the first time in Munger District at the bank of river Ganga near Shyampur village

We all wonder when we see nature around us. This is even exciting when you see the most unseen creatures in front of you. A similar incident happened with one of my friends Anand while he was just walking down the bank of river Ganga when he sees a bird almost 5 times bigger than cattle egret. He has no idea about the bird that he is seeing are very few in number around the world.

Confirmation about Greater Adjutant

To make sure about the identity of bird I posted the query about the bird on AskidsofIndianBirds. Within a minute I got to know that the bird is Greater Adjutant of Stork family and they are critically endangered storks of the world. 

Dn Choudhary,  Associate Professor of Dept. of Zoology, TMBU, Bhagalpur also confirmed that the bird is Greater Adjutant stork (Leptoptilos dubius) and is slighted for the 1st time in Munger District and it is a globally threatened bird. Arvind Mishra, a naturalist from Bhagalpur suggested “ Please keep on tracking the bird. Maybe we find a new bleeding colony in Munger. The breeding activity starts in September. June to August sightings also will be a good record while foraging.

According to Birdlife.org, Greater Adjutant is categorised as endangered on the IUCN Red List, residing only in the states of Assam and Bihar of India and in Cambodia. The major Adjutant population of India are found in Assam and next major in Bhagalpur of Bihar. This is for the first time a family of around 10 is been slighted at Ganga bank of Munger.

Greater Adjutant Stork Physical Appearance

Greater adjutant could grow up to the hight of 5 feet with the wingspan of 8 feet and is among the top five largest and heaviest flying Birds in India. A long, thick yellow bill precedes the sparsely feathered, yellow to pink head and neck. The head is typically dappled with dark scabs of dried blood and characterized by the presence of a pendulous, inflatable gular pouch. The legs are naturally dark in colour but frequently appear ashen due to regular defecation on the legs. 

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World’s most endangered Stork

The birds population was reported to be merely a thousand in 1990. In 2014 the Zoological Society of London identified the bird as an “EDGE” species, meaning one that is close to extinction. The key threats are widespread destruction and degradation of the wetlands in the area which lead to forage problems. The main problem of conservation of this bird is that “it breeds in privately-owned nesting trees, cutting and felling of trees lead to the nest destruction and hence exploitation.

Greater Adjutant stork
Greater Adjutant stork at Munger Ganga Ghat

To bring back majestic creature back

Several campaigns to save the population of  Greater Adjutant by local residents of villages of Assam and  Bihar have been carried out since 2009. Purnima Barman of Aaranyak.org Assam won WhitleyAward for saving and restoring the populations of Endangered species at villages of Kamrup district of Assam. 

Another story of Arvind Mishra, a naturalist from Bhagalpur whose effort has made it possible to built a habitat of greater adjutants at Kadwa Kosi Diara village in Bhagalpur district. He made the villagers aware of the importance of conservation of the Greater Adjutant for farming. Because of his tremendous effort, the population size of  Greater Adjutant in Bihar became almost equal to the Assam and Bihar became the world’s largest breeding colony of this endangered bird. 

Greater Adjutant stork
Greater Adjutant stork flying at Munger Ganga ghat

Recently, Bhagalpur and nearby districts along the plains of Ganga and Kosi become the substantial nesting site for Greater Adjutant. They can be easily slighted near marshes, lakes and jheels as well as dry grasslands and fields near to the town. They are most frequently associated with slaughterhouses and refuse sites near human settlements.

Wish! the family of Greater Adjutant stork grow in Munger District. Keep Loving The Nature & Creatures Near You!

By: Mukesh Chandra (Follow me on -> Facebook or Instagram)

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