Friday, February 23, 2024

Omid, single surviving West Siberian crane, no longer alone

Omid (Hope), the only remaining Siberian crane that keeps returning to Iran every winter, will no be longer alone, as officials transfer a mate from Belgium to the Fereydounkenar wetlands, Omid’s favorite residence for the cold season in northern Iran.

Ata’ollah Kavian, the director-general of the Environment Department in the northern province of Mazandaran, said Thursday that a Siberian crane was sent from Belgium’s crane reproduction and protection center to Iran via Qatar.

Preparations are being made to free the bird in nature in Fereydounkenar, he said.

The official said his colleagues had been mobilized during the last two months to set up a temporary structure for the bird in the wintering wetland frequented by Omid.

For now, the bird has been sent to the structure in accordance with all protocols and is in good health, he added.

Omid usually spends four months in the Fereydounkenar wetland by the Caspian Sea.

Ever since illegal hunters in the north of Iran shot down his mate, Arezou (Wish), back in 2007, Omid has been migrating to Iran on his own.

The Siberian crane, also known as the Siberian white crane or the snow crane, is a bird of the family of Gruidae. They are distinctive among the cranes for the snowy white color of the adults, and have two breeding populations in the Arctic tundra of western and eastern Russia.

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