HIMALAYAN QUAIL OR MOUNTAIN QUAIL

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Himalayn Quail / Mountain Quail
 
Mountain quail one of the two extinct species of India , that many people claimed to have seen in the last two to three decades ,if not extinct its population is likely to be tiny may be less than 50 individuals in whole Uttarakhand , hence it is considered critically endangered by bird life international and IUCN.

Field characters of Himalayan Quail : Quail species are generally similar to each other in external features , one can find it difficult to distinguish in the field , their calls are distinctive but the Himalayan Quail is easy to distinguish due to its red bill and legs and white spots in front of and behind the eye .

Himalayan Quail has long tail  & the female is a bright tawny rufous with grey eyebrows cheeks and neck.
The male is unlike any other Quail found in India , slaty grey with blood streak on the body black face and throat with conspicuous white cheeks & eyebrows. The Himalayan Quail has a longish broad tail more visible in flight for the confirming its identity.

Distribution of the Himalayan Quail appears to have an narrow altitudinal distribution range from mussoorie where the first specimen was collected to Nainital where the last confirm specimen was seen , Quail bird could be found lower or higher possibly in much larger area but where ever it occurred it must have been uncommon even 150 years ago.Himalayan Quail / Mountain Quail

Ecology Himalayan Quail: It might be a migratory bird , Though it has short wings but the bird near mussoorie & Nainital was seen in winter  from November to June, They are spotted in small groups.

Threats Himalayan Quail : So little is known about this species that it is difficult to say what has led to its extreme realty extension, it is conjecture that hunting and habited modification may be the two major factors as being endangered of this species .

Still a few decades ago open cast mining for lime stone was prevalent near Mussoorie, but it has been stopped now by the order of the Supreme Court of India , Extensive modification of its habitat on plantation could have played a role for the loss of its potential residence , have ended but these are hypothesis and yet to be proved by scientific research on this species.

Conservation Measures are underway for The Himalayan Quail and it is fully protected under schedule 1 of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act 1972 , however its habit it is not detected in recent years , We do not know whether extensive plantation has helped this critically endangered bird or not , the Mountain Quail was supposed to live in long grass and scrub on steep hills.

 
 
 
 
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