The Black-necked Crane, Grus nigricollis also known as Tibetan Crane is a large bird and medium-sized crane, at 139 cm (55 in) long, 235 cm (7.8 ft) wingspan and 5.5 kg (12 lbs). It is whitish-gray crane with a black head, red crown patch, black upper neck and legs, and white patch to the rear of the eye. It has black primaries and secondaries. Both sexes are similar.
The Black-necked Crane is distributed in Pakistan, China, Himalayan regions of India, Bhutan and Vietnam. It breeds on the Tibetan Plateau, with a small population in adjacent Ladakh, and Kashmir. It has therefore been designated as the "State bird of Kashmir". It has six wintering areas, mostly at lower altitudes in China, notably at Caohai Lake, but it also winters in Bhutan. In Jammu and Kashmir, the crane breeds near the high altitude lakes of Ladakh such as Tso Kar Lake. The Black-necked Crane is one of the spiritual creatures for the people of the area and is pictured alongside many of their deities in the monasteries of the region.
The estimated population of the species is between 5,600 and 6,000 individuals. The major threat to its survival are the cultivation of its breeding grounds. Also the opening up of the Ladakh valley to tourism has directly affected the crane over the last few years. It is legally protected in China, India and Bhutan.
The Black-necked Crane is evaluated as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is listed on Appendix I and II of CITES.