UPL continues its commitment to biodiversity conservation with its Ninth Annual Sarus Crane count

UPL, Forest Dept, and Community Boost Sarus Crane Population from 500 to 1431


Ahmedabad, June 26: UPL Limited, a global provider of sustainable agricultural solutions, conducted the Ninth Annual Sarus Crane Count, coinciding with the summer solstice, the longest day of the year.

In 2023-24, the count recorded a total of 1431 Sarus cranes, marking a significant increase of 186% since 2015. The summer solstice aligns with the period when most wetlands and marshes dry up, leading to large congregations of Sarus cranes at the remaining perennial water bodies, which provides a unique opportunity to accurately assess the population.

The Indian Sarus Crane, the tallest flying bird globally and categorized as vulnerable under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, traditionally inhabits wetlands and shares spaces with humans. It relies on agricultural fields for feeding and breeding. The decline in the number of wetlands and the deterioration of existing habitats are considered to be the main reasons for the Sarus’ decline. To conserve Sarus cranes, UPL initiated the Sarus Conservation Program in 2015. The UPL team worked closely with farmers, correcting misconceptions and behavioural attitudes toward Sarus through education and voluntary participation.

Rishi Pathania, Vice President – CSR, UPL Ltd., said, “The Sarus Crane Program is a testament to UPL’s commitment for species conservation. It is heartening to see the positive impact of our collaborative efforts, creating a thriving environment for the Sarus Crane and communities alike. This initiative in Kheda and Anand districts has helped Gujarat to hold the second-highest wild population of Sarus in India, and we have seen a 186% rise over nine years.”

Speaking on the count, Dr. Jatinder Kaur, Program Manager – UPL Sarus Conservation Program, said, “We conducted the count to get insights into the population dynamics and habitat preferences of Sarus cranes. Major congregation sites included Narda Wetland with 293 Sarus cranes, Traj Wetland with 189, Pariej Wetland with 155, and Gobarapura with 74 cranes. The effort covered 164 villages across fifteen talukas of both the districts.”

The count was a collaborative effort involving 99 volunteers from various groups, including 23 from Rural Sarus Protection Groups, 28 UPL Employee volunteers, 7 staff from the Social Forestry Division of Nadiad and Anand, 18 volunteers from the Voluntary Nature Conservancy, 8 students and professors from local colleges, and 12 government school teachers.

In addition to its conservation impact, UPL has received widespread recognition for its Sarus initiative, earning accolades such as the ACEF Asian Leaders Forum & Awards 2017, India CSR Leadership Summit 2017, Coffee for Cause: Conversation on Sustainability & CSR 2018, Dainik Jagran CSR Awards 2019, 17th Federation of Gujarat Industries (FGI) Awards 2021, 5th Indian Chamber of Commerce, Social Impact Awards 2023, and an Appreciation Plaque in 2023.