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Bengal Florican (Houbaropsis bengalensis), Chitwan National Park, Nepal

Restricted to tiny fragments of grassland scattered across South and Southeast Asia, the Bengal Florican is the world's rarest bustard. It is known to have become increasingly threatened by land conversion for intensive agriculture, particularly for dry season rice production. Poaching continues to be a problem in Southeast Asia, while the South Asian population is down to less than 350 adult birds, about 85% of which are found in India. Though more threatened, birds in Southeast Asia may number as many as in South Asia but more probably closer to or even somewhat over 1,000 adults. The population has decreased dramatically in past decades. It may be that in India the decline is coming to a halt and that stocks in Dibru-Saikhowa and Kaziranga National Parks and Dudhwa Tiger Reserve are safe at very low levels. Still, its global status is precarious and it was consequently uplisted from Endangered to Critically Endangered in the 2007 IUCN Red List.

Year: 2012

From album: Himalaya Biodiversity

Photographer: Peter Prokosch

Tags: fauna Himalaya

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