Spotted: New species of pigeon at Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Senehal Rebello

Mumbai, Nov. 29 -- On Sunday, ornithologists spotted seven Orange-breasted Green-pigeons in the core forest area of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) at Borivli. The species is found in the hills between Goa and Kerala and east and central India. "The Orange-breasted Green-pigeon is a bird of the hills and not the plains. Initially, I thought it was a Yellow-footed Green-pigeon that is quite common. But a closer look revealed that the foot was not yellow," said Tushar Nidambur who spotted the new species.

Spotting the Orange-breasted Green-pigeon is part of the ongoing bird survey for the Mumbai region biodiversity project headed by naturalist Sunjoy Monga. With only the male species sporting a pink band on the upper breast and a broader orange band below, Nidambur added, "Since the female species does not have an orange breast, we were lucky to find males that helped us identify the bird. Since it's never been spotted in the Mumbai region, this is quite a discovery."

"The national park is the last surviving extensive and isolated forest patch in northern Konkan that falls between the Sahyadri range and Arabian Sea. As a result, SGNP gets a sprinkling of the biodiversity of the Western Ghats and is an interesting location for several bird species," said Monga.

Monga added, "The bird could have either moved from North of Goa where it is usually found or has strayed more than 500 kilometres north of its known range." "The finding of this species is yet another addition to the national park's and the region's avifauna," said Sunil Limaye, chief conservator and director, SGNP. Over the past two months, the team has spotted several rare and winter bird species such as the near threatened European roller or orphean warbler in the Mumbai region.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.