With due appreciation of Dr. Mize’s response to my earlier letter regarding the presence of black-necked cranes in the Chug valley, as mentioned in my earlier letter, I would like to submit to Dr. Mize photographic evidence of the presence of the crane on 19th December 2012 (photograph is dated). Hopefully this will predate the ‘discovery’ of the crane to ‘science’ by a good four years and hence increase the scientific appreciation of Chug valley as winter roosting ground. I would be happy if Dr. Mize could turn this evidence into a scientific publication for the purpose of encouraging environmental conversation in the Chug valley.
May I also point out that in an article in the Look East Spark magazine I published in April 2015 I wrote that “Unknown to most conservationists, like nearby Sangthi, Chug valley’s paddy fields are the winter roosting ground of the endangered black-necked crane”. Perhaps this statement caught the eye of the conservationists in Arunachal and led to the ‘discovery’ of the cranes there.
The sad thing is, that it appears that just a few years after its discovery, the species may already have gone extinct in the valley.
Lastly, to direct local sightings of such a highly iconic bird as the black-necked crane to a possible case of “mistaken-identity or a vagrancy” in my eyes continues to display a condescending attitude towards local people’s knowledge and opinions: unfortunately a caveat that, despite all good intentions, continues to plague conservation efforts around the world.