A globally endangered bird species 'Jerdon's Babbler' that managed to evade being viewed by humans for the past 14 years, has been sighted and clicked in the buffer zone of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve (DTR).
Researchers Kaushik Sarkar and Pravar Mourya from The Habitats Trust (THT), who are working with forest department staff of the DTR, said, "It was during grassland surveys for avifauna along the river Sharda in the buffer zone of DTR that we saw four individual birds and were able to capture one in camera -- a confirmation of the species' presence and indication there must be more of them in the riverine grasslands of the Himalayan rivers of the region."
Lalit Kumar Verma, field director of DTR said, "Riverine grasslands are critical for biodiversity and ecological processes such as carbon sequestration. And such discoveries make it significant to conserve terai grasslands from human-induced activities."
The birds were spotted near Dhanara Ghat in the Bailaha village and Madraiyya Machaan, a tourist spot in DTR.
Its distinct sound was first recorded but the researchers could not spot it. Later they could capture it in a picture.
Jerdon's Babbler was found in Haryana and Punjab along the Sutlej River, but with depleting areas of high grassland, 95 per cent of their count in India is found in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh only.
Globally the count is claimed to be near 10,000 and out of this approximately 30 per cent is in India, said Kaushik Sarkar.
The finding indicates that the UP population of Jerdon's Babbler is of high conservation value.
(WIth inputs from IANS)