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Manipur: Baikal Teal Sights An Unusual bird After 108 Years, Was Last Seen In 1915

A startling thing has occurred in Manipur. After 108 years, the Baikal teal, a rare Russian bird, has been spotted here.

Edited By : News24 Desk | Updated: Jan 14, 2024 14:58 IST
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Russian Bird In Manipur
Russian Bird In Manipur (Image: Pexels)

A startling thing has occurred in Manipur. After 108 years, the Baikal teal, a rare Russian bird, has been spotted here. On Wednesday, a team from Wildlife Explorers Manipur (WEM) and the Indian Bird Conservation Network discovered Lamphel Wetland. This species has only been spotted twice in Manipur, on March 16, 1913, and November 28, 1915. This observation marks an important milestone in Manipur’s conservation efforts for rare bird species.

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The Bombay Natural History Society identified this bird’s species. Su-reet-man is another name for it. It breeds in eastern Russia and spends the winter in east Asia. The Baikal Teal is currently on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Before 2011, it was categorized as a vulnerable species owing to poaching and habitat degradation.

However, threats remain, according to WEM secretary Elangbam Premjit. The Baikal teal is exhibiting indications of recovery, with an increase in population and habitat restoration. The observation represents a significant step forward in the conservation of rare bird species in Manipur.

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The Baikal Teal is classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List, though it was classified as Vulnerable before 2011 due to hunting and destruction of its wintering wetland habitats, according to the WEM functionary, which has been conducting regular bird censuses at the state wetlands since its inception in 2018. The team had previously photographed the Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata), highly endangered Baer’s pochard, near-threatened Ferruginous pochard, vulnerable Common pochard, and other species at the Lamphelpat wetland.

A female Baikal Teal was once photographed near Imphal, but it went unreported.

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First published on: Jan 14, 2024 02:01 PM IST

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