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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 2, 2007
Centre to spend rupees five crore to conserve endangered Western Tragopan Pheasant
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Centre to spend rupees five crore to conserve endangered Western Tragopan Pheasant

The Central Government plans to spend nearly fifty million rupees (Rs. 5 crore) to protect the endangered Western Tragopan bird.

Sarahan (Himachal Pradesh), May 1 : The Central Government plans to spend nearly fifty million rupees (Rs. 5 crore) to protect the endangered Western Tragopan bird.

"The Central Government has come out with a new project to make new cages for which it has sanctioned rupees 49,39,0000 which is to be completed in five years," said Arun Sharma, Divisional Forest Officer (wildlife wing), Sarahan Pheasantry.

The project is aimed at protecting the Himalayan pheasant, which has been successfully bred in captivity.

Sharma also confirmed that this year two cages have been designed to resemble the natural habitat of the rare bird, and seven more are in the offing.

"The birds are found only in Pakistan, Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, and that too, at a height of 2,500 to 3,000 metres. The total number of these birds in the world is about 4,800. It figures in the 'Red Data Book', which means that it is on the verge of extinction," Sharma added.

A successful hatching of the endangered species took place for the first time in captivity at Sarhan in 2005 with the assistance of John Corder, a conservation and breeding expert associated with the World Pheasant Association.

The Western Tragopan can be found in the western Himalayas, from Kohistan, through to Kashmir and into Himachal Pradesh, and possibly Uttaranchal in north-west India.

In summers, it inhabits temperate coniferous and deciduous forests, with dense undergrowth, while in the winters, it descends to grassy or shrubby gulleys that have less snow cover.

The Western Tragopan pheasant has been declared a critically endangered species in the 'Red Data Book' of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.

International pheasant experts have been trying for the last 12 years to conserve and breed the bird.

ANI

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