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Conservation

The elusive western tragopan of the Himalaya

Braving the cold and hostile terrain of the Himalayan heights, determined birders go in search of the colourful and ground-dwelling western tragopan, and find it.

 

A male western tragopan in the Great Himalayan National Park, Kullu district, Himachal Pradesh. Photo: Jainy Maria Kuriacose
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The western tragopan is the State bird of Himachal Pradesh. It looks like a jungle fowl and is secretive and shy. Local residents call it jujurana, which means king of birds. Photo: Jainy Maria Kuriacose
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A Temminck’s tragopan (named after the Dutch naturalist and ornithologist Coenraad Temminck) in the Mishmi Hills of Arunachal Pradesh. Photo: Jainy Maria Kuriacose
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The Himalayan monal. It is one of the 16 species of pheasants endemic to the Indian Himalayan region. Photo: Jainy Maria Kuriacose
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A female Himalayan monal. Female pheasants are less colourful than the males. Photo: Jainy Maria Kuriacose
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A satyr tragopan, which was photographed in Bhutan. The local people are so involved in the protection of this bird that it roams freely like domestic chicken. Photo: Jainy Maria Kuriacose
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A male Himalayan monal in all his resplendence. Photo: Jainy Maria Kuriacose
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A Himalayan monal in flight. Photo: Jainy Maria Kuriacose
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A koklass pheasant, another of the 16 species of pheasants endemic to the Indian Himalayan region. Photo: Jainy Maria Kuriacose
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The white-throated tit, another important denizen of the Great Himalayan National Park, though not one of the pheasant species. Photo: Jainy Maria Kuriacose
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The kalij pheasant. Pheasants can be found in various vegetation types and altitudinal gradients. Photo: Jainy Maria Kuriacose
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Another of the attractions of the Great Himalayan National Park apart from its wildlife are cold streams, of which it has more than 2,700, mostly gushing and noisy. Photo: Gautham Pandey
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Blyth’s tragopan. The name commemorates the English naturalist and ornithologist Edward Blyth, who lived in India and was the curator of zoology at the Asiatic Society of India in Calcutta. Photo: Jainy Maria Kuriacose
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Jainy Maria Kuriacose. Photo: Picasa
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