Published On: Wed, May 14th, 2014

Bengal Florican radio tagged in Uttar Pradesh

Lucknow: A heartening news for the ornithologists, the world’s rarest bustard, the Bengal Florican is on the focus of the Uttar Pradesh Forest department that has undertaken the ambitious project of studying the behavior and ecology of this highly endangered species to save it from slipping to extinction for the sake of bird lovers in particular and wildlife researchers in general.

A lot of useful information about its migration  can be obtained from satellite telemetry

A lot of useful information about its migration can be obtained from satellite telemetry

Restricted to minuscule fragments of grassland scattered across Southeast Asia, the decline in number of the Bengal Florican is due to decrease of its habitat for agriculture. Besides that poaching is considered to be the main culprit for the dwindling number of this rare species. At present in South Asia its population is around 350 adult birds with roughly 85 percent of which is in Uttar Pradesh and Assam.

Probably for the first time in India, the Bengal florican is being radio tagged by adopting the methodology of Platform Terminal Transmitter (PTT), said the principal chief conservator of forest (Wildlife), Rupak Dey. He told Indileak that this scientific study is being undertaken by a team of ornithologists headed by Dr Asad Rehmani of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).

Dey said that by radio tagging a bird, a lot of useful information about its migration can be obtained from satellite telemetry (PTT).

To start with for carrying out the study, five pairs of this species were spotted in the grassland of Pilibhit forest division of the state. Subsequently in this forest division a male Bengal Florican was trapped and fitted with PTT on its breast region.

The movement of the bird is being tracked through satellite and the data so obtained would help in understanding the territory occupied by it in case of any noticeable migration, said the forest official.

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