In a major discovery, the longest in-country migration route of lesser floricans, the endangered birds of the bustard group, has been tracked for the first time from Rajasthan to Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district.
- The extensive study on lesser floricans’ migration has been launched as part of the bustard recovery programme, which is a conservation initiative for the critically endangered Great Indian Bustard and the endangered lesser florican.
The WII is implementing the project in partnership with Forest Departments of several States and the International Fund for Houbara Conservation.
- Unprotected agricultural fields in Shokaliya are the strongholds of lesser florican’s breeding population, which forages on insects amid the grass and crops of amenable heights.
About Lesser florican
- Lesser florican, taxonomically classified as Sypheotides indicus, is a small and slender bird species belonging to the bustard group, found in tall grasslands, for which Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII) has launched a recovery programme.
- The endangered bird is observed in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and some other regions during the monsoon season, when it breeds and later disappears with its chicks to unknown places.
- The bird is listed as “critically endangered” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species and its population has been identified as “decreasing”.
- The only similar species is the Bengal florican (Houbarobsis bengalensis) which is larger and lacks the white throat, collar and elongated plumes.
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