The Himalayan Monal, Lophophorus impejanus also known as the Impeyan Monal or Impeyan Pheasant or Danphe is soon to get an advanced breeding centre in Manali after the Central Zoo Authority approved the proposal. The plan pending for a long time will help the state bird of Uttaranchal get greater protection and hopefully help increase its number.

The centre to breed the Monal was in planning stage since 2009 but due to lack of funds the execution was taking time. Now the advanced centre plans have been finalised that will have cameras installed in the cages to observe the birds at all times. The birds will be named and their case study would be prepared right from birth.  

At present there are around 5000 monals in Himachal Pradesh while the Manali centre has five pairs.

Divisional forest officer (wildlife) B S Rana said, “this would definitely prove a vital step in the conservation of the Himalayan monal. They would get a new life after this move.”

He adds that the cages would be made in such a way that heavy snowfall does not affect the birds.

Adult male monal birds have a multicoloured body and a long crest. Female are dull in colour. Among the pheasant family monal find a prominent place because of their large size. The range of these birds is from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India to Nepal and Burma. They are the national bird of Nepal. In India the birds are found in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim.

The main reason that these birds need protection is poaching. They are hunted mostly for their crests.

Says Great Himalayan National Park director Ajay Srivastava,  “A number of monals have been killed merely to obtain their beautiful crests. They breed between April and August but their numbers have declined in recent years.”

Other reasons for its decline have been habitat destruction and increasing pressure on forests.

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Article reference: TOI


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About Atula Gupta

Atula Gupta is the Founder and Editor of Her work has appeared in a number of international websites, dailies and magazines including The Wire, Deccan Herald, New Indian Express, Down to Earth and Heritage India on issues related to environment and its conservation. She is also the author of Environment Science Essentials, a set of books for school children. She hopes this website provides a platform for people to be aware about species in the verge of extinction and heighten their conservation efforts.

8 thoughts on “Himalayan Bird to get Advanced Breeding Centre

  1. At first glance, the bird looks like a somewhat toned down version of our flamboyant peacock. What a beauty! Never knew such a bird existed in our own country – would like to go Manali to shoot this beauty (digitally, of course). Thanks Atula for another insightful article.

  2. Pleased to read about the new captive breeding facility for the himalayan monal pheasant in india. Monal pheasants in general are strong birds which easily adapt to captive breeding conditions and reproduction. In europe, both in zoos and in private collections, himalayan monal pheasants breed quite well and several hundred youngsters are being bred each year. This species has been listed on appendix 1 by the cites but then trade in this species has never endangered the wild population. It is habitat destruction and poaching which has influenced the survival rate of the wild population. Therefore, steps must be taken to ensure the survival in the wild and captive beeeding has to be supported by the govts in india and abroad to ensure the long term survival and welfare of this endangered pheasant species. Also see website tragopan pheasantry in belgium on the internet.

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