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Endemic Birds In India UPSC NOTE

 


Endemic Birds In India

  • A recent publication by the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) points out that about 5% of the birds found in the country are endemic and not reported in other parts of the world. 

  • The publication, 75 Endemic Birds of India, was recently released on the 108th foundation day of the ZSI.

  • India is home to 1,353 bird species, which represents approximately 12.4% of the global bird diversity. Of these, 78 (5%) are endemic to the country. 

  • Since endemic species are restrictive in nature, it is important that their habitats are conserved so that they don’t dwindle out. 

  • The highest number of endemic species have been recorded in the Western Ghats, with 28 bird species.

  • Some of the species recorded in the country’s bio-geographic hotspot are the Malabar grey hornbill (Ocyceros griseus); Malabar parakeet (Psittacula columboides); Ashambu laughingthrush (Montecincla meridionalis); and the white-bellied sholakili (Sholicola albiventris).

  • Three of the 78 species have not been recorded in the past few decades.

  • They are the Manipur bush quail (Perdicula manipurensis), the Himalayan quail (Ophrysia superciliosa), and the Jerdon’s courser (Rhinoptilus bitorquatus).

Manipur bush quail (Perdicula manipurensis):

  • Listed as “endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

  • Last recorded sighting in 1907.

  • It was first collected and described by Allan Octavian Hume )founder of the Indian National Congress and "the Father of Indian Ornithology")

Himalayan quail (Ophrysia superciliosa):

  • Listed as “critically endangered” in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

  • Its last recorded sighting in 1876 near Mussoorie.

  • It is a medium-sized quail belonging to the pheasant family.

  • This species was known from only 2 locations (and 12 specimens) in the western Himalayas in Uttarakhand, north-west India.

Jerdon’s courser (Rhinoptilus bitorquatus):

  • Listed as “critically endangered” in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

  • Its last confirmed sighting in 2009.

  • It is a nocturnal bird belonging to the pratincole and courser family.

  • This courser is a restricted-range endemic found locally in India in the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh.

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