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3 bird species in state still under threat

Are on IUCN’s ( International Union for Conservation of Nature ) latest red list of 15 most Endangered Indian Avian s

The latest ‘red list’ of endangered bird species released by the International Union for Conservation of Nature ( IUCN ) includes 15 Indian bird species, three of which are found mainly in Gujarat. These include the Great Indian Bustard, the Indian Vulture and Siberian Cranes. All three are in the ‘critically endangered’ ( CR ) category.


Several migratory birds that come to Thol and Nalsarovar ( Gujarat ) have also been listed in the ‘vulnerable’ and ‘nearly threatened’ bird species.

Officials said the IUCN red list is the list on the basis of which several countries and states form their strategies for conversation of birds.

Officials said that the ‘International Union for Conversation of Nature Red List of Birds – 2013’ shows that 15 birds species in India continue to be in the ‘critically endangered’ category. Of these, three bird species are now in greater danger than before.

The decline in the population of these species is because of the growing human interference in areas where bird nesting and colonies exist, said the officials.

Studies by the Bombay Natural History Society ( BNHS ) and other organizations, including Wildlife Institute of India, of factors most responsible for the failing numbers of several bird species reveal that like wetlands, most other habitats such as grasslands and forests, also face severe threat due to development pressures.


The drastic loss of grassland habitat over the past decades has severely threatened species such as the Great Indian Bustard, Siberian Crane, Bengal Florican and Jerdon’s courser.

While the extensive use of diclofenac by farmers for treatment of their cattle, had led to the fall in the number of Indian Vultures, the destruction of deciduous forest had lead to the decline in the numbers of Forest owlets. The presence of chemicals in the carcass of animals on which scavenging birds feed has affected their population adversely.

BNHS – India Director, Dr. Asad Rahmani, said that on the basis of insightful scientific field research, there is an urgent need to conserve the remaining habitats and the species dependent on them.

“Policies that ensure this through sustainable development should be framed and implemented at the earliest,” Rahmani said.


Flying Away

Critically endangered species: This category in India includes migratory birds.

Wetlands species: Baer’s Pochard, Siberian crane and Spoon – billed sandpiper

Grassland Species: Bengal Florican, Great Indian Bustard, Jerdon’s courser and Sociable lapwing.

Scavengers: Indian Vulture, Red – headed vulture, White – backed vulture, Slender – billed vulture, Himaliyan quail & Pink – headed duck

Non – migratory wetland species : White – bellied heron

Forest Species: Forest owlet

Courtesy:- Times of India 


Lioness Laxmi’s lucky five in Zoo

Three Year Old Mother in Gir (Junagadh, Gujarat, India) has Given birth to a Record litter, all the cubs are healthy 

Five seems to be the lucky number for Laxmi. This three year old lioness in Gir (Junagadh, Gujarat, India) has given birth to a litter of five. Interestingly, Laxmi herself was one of a litter of five born to lioness named Shyama.

At her age, Laxmi should usually be learning the tricks of hunting, but she is already a mother and playing the role with tremendous ease. She is taking good care of the cubs and is protecting them from all kinds of threats of jungle life.


On May 17, 2013, Laxmi gave birth to five cubs in Gir Interpretation Zone at Devaliya (Sasan Gir, Junagadh, Gujarat, India). The cubs are now 75 days old and weigh between 3.5 and 4 kg. The cubs have begun to supplement the mother’s milk with meat as they have already developed teeth. “This is a remarkable feat as normally a lioness gives birth to 2 to 3 cubs and it is rather rare for all the cubs to survive. Laxmi deserves praise for her mothering skills well proved by the thriving brood,” said a forest officer.

Gujarat’s chief wildlife warden C.N. Pandey said, “Laxmi has inherited good genes. She was born on May 3, 2010, at Sakarbaug Zoo, Junagadh (Gujarat, India) to lion Daksh and lioness Shyama. However, her mother Shyama could raise only three of them. The rest died in their infancy. Laxmi has been able to achieve a record”.

“A lioness can feed only four cubs at a time. But Laxmi has been able to work around this biological limitation. This example illustrate that Asiatic lions are genetically strong and competent,” said Pandey. “The forest department continues to play a leading role in biodiversity conservation through dedicated management and support to nature with skill care. It is crucial that each and every individual of an endangered species is protected with proper skills and capability”.

“Birth to five cubs in a litter is extremely rare,” an official of the department said.

“We were not sure if Laxmi would be able to raise all five cubs. But she was to make a record in the known history of Asiatic Lion management. Laxmi, supported by the forest department staff, she has been able to ensure that all of her survive,” the official said.

Courtesy:- Times of India

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