The villagers believe that these birds are harbingers of better yield of paddy in the following season, and that if they do not visit the area, their crops will suffer a pest onslaught. Even the children in the village are taught at a young age not to tease or cause any kind of harm to the birds.
Prior to 1990, it was believed that the black-necked cranes had become extinct in India. In 1990, a Pune based ecologist, Prakash Gole, surveyed the area with the logistic help of the army and he came across a few birds at a site close to Sangti. The discovery of a so-called extinct species aroused within him a search to find more of these birds. This brought him to Sangti village where he found a roosting population. This ‘discovery’ of the black-necked crane roosting site in India delighted Gole and he organised several meetings with the local people, the local school authorities and the army. As an outcome of these meetings it was decided to form a committee that would take on the responsibility to offer protection to the cranes and their habitat. The Black-necked Crane Conservation Committee (BCCC) was then formed, which comprised key individuals, including Kazang Namsay (the village headman, Gaon Bura), D. Siam (Deputy Director, Government Sheep Breeding Farm), S. Koltia (Headmaster, Sangti Head School), Sharma (Teacher, Sangti School), and Prakash Gole, (Ecological Society of India, Pune).
The Sangti School, was 1 km away from the breeding site and took the responsibility for maintaining regular records of the date of arrival, departure and total number of the birds at that time. It became an important centre for holding meetings, dissemination of information related to the birds and spreading awareness amongst the student community.
The winter months, being a lean period after the harvest, are also a time for the locals to rejoice. Very often the area selected for this rejoicing is close to the breeding ground. Very often picnickers would be playing loud music and littering the place with packing-material waste and food leftovers.
In 1994, the army deployed 2 sepoys (guards) to protect the area from such noise-making parties that scare off the cranes. Simultaneously, in the same year, the road construction work along the river was stalled after making requests to the Public Works Department, since it caused a disturbance to the birds. In 1996, the forest department promised to provide free saplings to the community and the school to plant on the barren hill slopes.