Poster out for new state bird, animal and flower



Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh state wildlife department is ready with its first ever poster campaign, to generate awareness about Snow Leopard (barfaani tenduaa), Western Tragopan (locally known as jujurana) and Pink Rhododendron (gulaabi buraas), which were recently declared as state animal, bird and flower, respectively. Earlier, Monal was the state bird and Musk Deer was the state animal.

The new poster

The poster features the Leopard and Rhododendron painted by noted Shimla based environmentalist B S Malhans. Meanwhile, the Tragopan is an artwork of an American artist, who contributed his piece for use as emblem of the Great Himalayan National Park.

The conservation project of the Tragopan is underway at Sarahan is first ever in the world to have seen captive breeding of the Western Tragopan this year after more than a decade of efforts. Estimates put the number of Snow Leapords in the state at 400. Himachal is close to getting a central project for conservation of the Snow Leopard, which has already been implemented in other four Himalayan states of Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir (Laddkah), Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.

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  1. To whom this belongs,

    We are very glad to read that the Govt. of HP is paying attention to its wildlife and is trying to create awarness among its people and through the internet to preserve its natural resources for future generations.

    We have been visiting HP in 2006 to support the captive breeding of western tragopans and other rare pheasants native ot HP. We have visited the Sarahan Pheasantry. We were much impressed by what people are doing there.

    You will be glad to know that we will make good publicity through our website "Tragopan Pheasantry" upon the need and methods of conservation breeding of such rare and endangered pheasants in the next coming months.

    Wishing you all the best,

    Francy Hemrans, Belgium

  2. Francy,

    The Himachal Pradesh Wildlife would also be happy to hear from people like you if you have any better ways of conservation of such breeds. Himachal also attracts a large number of migratory birds and Pong Dam (Maharana Pratap Sagar Wetland)in district Kangra of the state is fast becoming their preferred destination. Over 400 avian species have been recorded at this site, including Northern Pintail, spot billed duck, black stork, painted stork, wolly necked stork and river lapwing. Despite this there have been little efforts to carry out some research related to them here. The state is presently looking towards some measures for ensuring their safe stay at this site during the winters (November-February) and definitely efforts of bird watchers from across the world would be welcome in Himachal.

    Hema D.


  3. To whom this belongs,

    I can only comment on the pheasants, and especially on the Western tragopan.

    The need of the hour is to introduce Artificial Insemination and mass breed these birds before experiments of natural rearing are tried.

    Moreover, just to let all the readers know that it is not that difficult to breed these pheasants, even Western Tragopans by Artificial Insemination (AI). It so happened that we have trained one well-respected member of the Forestry Dep. in the technique of Artificial Insemination in Belgium in May 2007. This Indian person was able to produce around 65 chicks of Tragopans just in one month (with a fertility success rate of 100 %) !!

    This figure is 5 times higher than what has been produced as Sarahan Pheasantry in last 20 years despite spending huge infrastructural and salary costs.

    Personally I think that huge Govt. exchequer can be saved in case we go in these projects by producing birds through AI in the begining and can experiment later with other ways once it come to reintroduction.

    Another question that has not been addressed in any of the ongoing projects is that of reintroduction. i.e. do we have enough birds to reintroduce in the wild.

    The clear answer is a BIG NO and in case we dont make drastic changes in these projects the ultimate sufferer would be the birds and genuine bird lovers all across the globe as Himachal is the Hot Spot for this beautiful bird.

    It is high time that the competent Indian authorities realize that AI is the only way to save money and time, to reintroduce Western tragopan in HP.

    It is unfortunate that despite my voluntary proposals, common sense in running such valuable projects has not prevailed.

    I just hope that time will turn the tide.

    Wishing you all the best in HP.

    Francy Hermans,

    Tragopan Pheasantry, Belgium

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