Lesser Florican, a rare bird, found in Kasaragod

Lesser Florican

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It is the fifth spotting of the critically endangered species in Kerala

Birdwatchers have spotted a rare migratory bird of the bustard species named Lesser Florican in the wetlands of Chattanchal in Kasaragod.

This is the first time that a rare migratory bird is spotted in the district. While it is the fifth reporting of the bird in Kerala, Lesser Florican was earlier spotted at Karunagappally in Kollam in 1990 and Parassinikadavu in Kannur in 1996. In 2012, it was found in Thrissur. The bird was spotted in Kozhikode in 2017.

Birdwatchers Shyamkumar Purvankara and Harish Babu, who spotted the bird, said in Kerala, the species is called ‘Chattakozhi’ owing to the way it walks.

Mr. Shyamkumar said the bird was endemic to the Indian subcontinent, and that it was largely found in southern and eastern Gujarat, southern Rajasthan, and eastern Madhya Pradesh. The birds have also been spotted at Sindh and Pakistan.

Mr. Shyamkumar said the bird is critically endangered. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), their numbers have declined since 1982. While the birds were numbered 4,374 then, it came down to 1,672 in 1989. However, they went up to 3,530 in 1999 and declined to 1,500 in 2020.

The birds migrate from south and central parts of the Indian subcontinent to northwestern India from March to August.

Mr. Shyamkumar said the habitation loss due to dwindling grassland, invasive species, pesticide pollution, indiscriminate development activity, and hunting had affected the population of the species.

Even those birds spotted in the State earlier were found injured or dead. But the one that was spotted was healthy and was found along with other birds at Chattanchal, he added.

Source: The Hindu

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