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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A male Himalayan monal in all his resplendence. Photo: Jainy Maria Kuriacose
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A Himalayan monal in flight.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jainy Maria Kuriacose. Photo: Picasa
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