For decades, Siberian cranes have stopped in Mahotari on their migration route from Siberia to India. But their numbers are falling rapidly because of pesticides. About 500 Siberian cranes have died here in the last year, especially in Gaushala VDC. Farmers spray pesticides like DDT, phosphorus and Metacid on their crops and the cranes feed on insects and pests exposed to the chemicals. There can be anything between 7,000-17,000 cranes passing through or nesting here every year.