Four species of birds in Mizoram critically endangered

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Aizawl, Jul 15 (UNI) Out of more than 500 species of birds in Mizoram, four have been declared critically endangered, one endangered, five vulnerable, seven near threatened and nine restricted, noted ornithologist Dr Anuwaruddin Choudhury said.

Dr Choudhury has recorded 479 species of birds in his book ''A pocket guide to the Birds of Mizoram'', released by Mizoram Environment and Forest Minister Dr R Lalthangliana'n at Guwahati on Friday.

''Among the rare species of birds, Chinese Babax is found only in Mizoram within the Indian limits. Mrs Hume's Pheasant is the state bird of Mizoram and among other worth-watching species are Blyth's Tragopan, Khasi Hills or Dark Rumped Swift, Great Pied Hornbill and White-Winged Wood Duck,'' Dr Choudhury said.

''There are past records of Great White-beillied Heron and Rufous-necked Hornbill. The status of rare green Peafowl is not known,'' he added.

Environmentalists have held the jhum agriculture, logging and cultivation in the valleys, hunting and the proposed hydro-electric projects responsible for the large-scale habitat destruction.

Mizoram has two national parks - Murlen and Phawngpui or Blue Mountains - nine wildlife sanctuaries and six important bird areas.

''The aim of the book is to provide an up-to-date checklist on birds with brief description of a few threatened and notable species found in the state,'' the author said.

''However, the ultimate aim is to generate awareness and interest on bird conservation in the state. I hope that this book would be of use and interest to broad section of readers, including birdwatchers, general tourists forest officials, students and researchers et al,'' he said.

Mizoram falls under the 'Indo-Burma global biodiversity hotspot' and the 'Eastern Himalaya Endemic Bird Area'.

The entire state is hilly and mountainous and is also at a higher altitude than many countries, including the Netherlands and Switzerland.

UNI ZS DPM RL CS1530

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