by NEWSNER , 2021-05-03 15:13:55
Staffers of the environment & forests department sighted a rare and elusive white-bellied heron in Walong in Anjaw district recently.
A team comprising Anjaw Forest Division DFO Santosh Kumar Reddy, scientist Dekbin Yonggam, and RFO Nosing Pul spotted and photographed the white-bellied heron (Ardea insignis).
The white-bellied heron is categorized as critically endangered within the IUCN Red Data Book and is listed under Schedule IV of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
The elusive bird is one among the rarest birds within the world and is presently only found in Bhutan, Myanmar, and Namdapha tiger reserve in Arunachal. It had also been recorded within the adjacent Kamlang tiger reserve privately trap images.
“The sighting in Walong at 1,200 meters above mean water level is that the first record in higher elevation areas in India.
The presence of nesting sites within this area may be a positive sign for the longer-term habitat,” the PCCF office here stated during a handout.
“It is to be noted that the breeding season of white-bellied heron starts from February till June. So, the nearby communities, birders, tour operators, and other individuals should stay from the world, since the bird is extremely shy to human presence,” it said.
The PCCF office requested the GBs and therefore the village head of Walong to form the local communities conscious of the necessity to guard the bird and conserve its habitat.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) RK Singh said: “It is great news that this critically endangered bird is establishing new habitats beyond its traditional range. This itself epitomizes positive health of forest ecosystems during this biodiversity-rich state.”
Chief Wildlife Warden G Kumar said, “It may be a good sign for the rara avis to seem within the pristine forest area.” He applauded the conservation measures taken by the Anjaw DFO, and has “constituted a committee for fact-finding at this stage.”
A team comprising scientists from the department and reputed national institutions just like the Wildlife Institute of India and therefore the Zoological Survey of India “will jointly undertake field research for future conservation prospects for this rare and globally threatened bird,” the release said.