As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday 10 January 2013

Rare tragopan pheasants sent from Highland Wildlife Park to India

The Satyr and Temminck's tragopans inhabit high Himalayan mountain slopes

A group of rare and endangered birds is being taken from the Highlands to India in an attempt to kick-start a recovery programme for the species.

The nine tragopans are members of the pheasant family which normally inhabit the foothills of the Himalayas.

They have been bred in captivity by experts in the UK and donated to the conservation project.

The Highland Wildlife Park in Kingussie has provided special quarantine facilities to hold the game birds.

The Indian government and its wildlife authorities have made efforts to ensure that some of the country's most endangered species do not slip further towards extinction.

They have made specific plans for more than seventy different species, two of which are the Satyr tragopan and the Temminck's tragopan.

But wild birds are difficult to capture and breed so UK enthusiasts who have been successful have offered nine of the birds from captive-bred collections here to be sent to India.

The role of the Highland Wildlife Park in this case is to act as the pre-export quarantine facility for the two species of tragopan pheasants”

Douglas RichardsonHighland Wildlife Park
They have been collected and quarantined at the Highland Wildlife Park ahead of their journey which is due to begin on Wednesday.

Douglas Richardson, animal collection manager at the park, said: "The specialist skills and resources developed at wildlife parks and zoos to manage captive species are increasingly the solutions of choice when trying to address species conservation in the field.


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