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Mar 5, 2017

Women's group in India takes the Greater Adjutant under its wing

 Photos by Anupam Nath / AP
An endangered Greater Adjutant stork (above) with a baby in its nest is seen in Dadara Village, west of Gauhati, India.   For decades the big and awkward-looking scavenger-bird was reviled in its home territory of north-east India, until a group of women raised awareness of its plight.   They call themselves the Hargila Army, for the bird's name in the local Assamese language.
Above, Wildlife biologist Purnima Devi Barman, second from left, who works with a local conservation group called Aranyak, shows stork photos to a group of women from the 'Hargila Army', during an awareness meeting to save the bird, in Dadara Village.   Women pray, sing hymns, weave scarves and other items with motifs of the stork, to creare awareness about protecting the species.
Birdlife International states that the species was previously widespread across much of south and continental south-east Asia, but declined dramatically during the first half of the 20th century.   IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) has declared the bird's official status as 'Endangered' since the late 1990s.
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