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Crimson Horned Pheasant seen after 90 years

  • Category
    Ecology and Environment
  • Published
    4th May, 2022

Context

Scientists of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have spotted crimson horned pheasant in Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary in West Bengal’s Darjeeling district after nearly 90 years in that particular area.

About

About Satyr Tragopan or crimson horned pheasant:

  • The male Satyr Tragopan (Tragopan satyra) is one of the most beautiful birds in India and also one of the rarest and is best seen in Neora Valley National Park of Darjeeling district.
  • It is to be mentioned that sighting of the satyr tragopan was first reported by Hickell in 1842
  • Male Satyr’s are 68 cm and are a bright crimson red with white spots. Females are smaller and less conspicuous and brown in colour.
  • Tragopans are often called “horned pheasants” because they display horn-like projections during courtship.
  • Like other Tragopans, the Satyr is faced with habitat destruction and hunting pressure and is now considered to be near-threatened.
  • It is classified near-threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. 
  • These birds reside in moist oak and rhododendron forests with dense undergrowth and bamboo clumps. They range from 2400 to 4200 metres in summer and 1800 metres in winter. 


About Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Formed in 1915, Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the oldest sanctuaries in India located on the outskirts of Darjeeling town.
  • It is one of the oldest wildlife sanctuaries of India and covers an area of 38.6 km2 (14.9 sq mi).
  • The elevation ranges from 1,500 to 2,600 m (4,900 to 8,500 ft).
  • It provides habitat for barking deer, wild boar, Himalayan black bear, Indian leopard, jungle cat, rhesus monkey, Assam macaque, Himalayan flying squirrel.
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