New Species of Plants and Animals Discovered

Rare white-bellied heron spotted in Arunachal Pradesh


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.

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