From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : IUCN status of white-bellied heron
Mains level : Paper 3- White-bellied heron spotted
About the bird
- The white-bellied heron is categorised as ‘critically endangered’ in International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red Data Book.
- It is listed in Schedule IV in the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
- It is one of the rarest birds in the world and is found only in Bhutan, Myanmar and the Namdapha Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh.
- It had also been recorded in the adjacent Kamlang Tiger Reserve in Lohit district in camera trap images.
Significance of recent sighting
- The recent sighting at a height of 1,200 metres above sea level is a first at such a higher elevation in India.
- The presence of nesting sites within this area is a positive sign for the future habitat as the breeding season of the white-bellied heron starts in February and lasts till June.
- It is great news that the critically endangered bird is establishing new habitat beyond its traditional range.