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.

Monday 14 March 2016

Injured Garuda in Jharkhand reveals threat to the rare bird

 Sanjoy Dey, Hindustan Times, Ranchi
Updated: Mar 08, 2016 15:33 IST

Forest officials have rescued an injured Garuda bird (lesser adjutant stork) from Barkagaon village in Chatra district of Jharkhand, raising fears of poaching of the rare winged species.

“The bird was hit by stones. It’s legs had injuries. We have sent the bird for cure and care to Ranchi zoo,” said Madhukar, divisional forest officer of Chatra South division. Zoo officials received the bird, considered the mount (vahana) of Lord Vishnu in Hindu mythology, on Sunday evening.

The lesser adjutant is placed in the vulnerable category -- the red list for birds -- of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). “Weight of the bird is around 10kg and it has a wing span of five feet,” Madhukar said, adding that the bird was rarely sighted in a few water bodies in Jharkhand. “Our team is investigating who injured the bird,” he said.

KK Sharma, in-charge of the Jharkhand-Bihar chapter of the Ornithology Society of India, said the bird became rare in the state because of food shortage and poaching.

“In Jharkhand villages, the bird is poached for two reasons -- meat and superstition. The bird’s beak and bone are kept in houses with a misconception that they bring fortunes,” Sharma said.

“Population of the bird is dwindling rapidly in the world due to habitat loss, anthropogenic pressure, decreasing wetland feeding areas, intensive fishing and increased use of pesticides,” said Satya Prakash, state convener of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).

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