Forest officer rescues injured endangered Cheer Pheasant

YB WEB DESK. Dated: 3/2/2021 1:04:14 PM

KAMRAN KHAN Bhaderwah Mar 1 A critically endangered species of pheasants namely Cheer pheasant that was struggling to fly in Thanthera forest area of Neeru Range in Jammu and Kashmir’s Bhadarwah was rescued by a Range officer of Bhaderwah Forest Division. The officer, Shafqat Mehmood Malik took the injured bird to the Forest Division Bhaderwah, where it was given treatment at its Wildlife Rescue and Transit facility for two days. "The one-and-a-half-yearold Cheer pheasant has suffered injuries on a wing and a leg. The injuries were possibly caused either by the attack of some wild animal or it can be hunters as well,” Shafqat Mehmood Malik said. After treatment, the critically endangered pheasant was released to its natural habitat on early Monday morning by Conservator Forest Chenab Circle Sat Paul Pakhru along with DFO Bhaderwah Chander Shekhar, DFO demarcation Mohinder Jamwal and officials of Neeru Range. Conservator Forest(CF) Chenab Circle Satpaul Phakru, while releasing the bird said that two days back, RO Neeru Range found a bird in injured condition, struggling to fly. The officer immediately rescued the bird and after treating it for two days, today the bird was freed in it's natural habitat near Thanthera Forest, 12 KM from Bhadarwah town. "The Cheer Pheasant is one of the critically endangered species and is mentioned in Red list category of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) as most vulnerable species, which needs to be conserved for the survival of mankind. It's habitat is Himalayas and in J&K it's found in Bhadarwah and Bonjwah areas of Chenab Valley," said CF Chenab circle Satpaul Phakru. While appreciating RO Neeru Range Shafqat Mehmood Malik and his team, CF said, "I congratulate my RO Neeru Range for his heroic effort of saving precious life of Cheer Pheasant and thereby giving me an opportunity to be a part of this noble operation (safe release of Bird)." The cheer pheasant, also known as Wallich's pheasant or chir pheasant, is a vulnerable species of the pheasant family, Phasianidae. It is the only member in the genus Catreus. The environment scientists at 'Institute of Mountain Environment' Bhaderwah Campus while appreciating the release of endangered bird have also raised serious concern over the rapidly decreasing number of rare species of pheasants due to hunting. Dr Neeraj Sharma, HoD Institute of Mountain Environment, Bhadarwah Campus, said that, "it's very encouraging sign to save a bird, who belongs to critically endangered species of Pheasants and is disappearing from our forests at an alarming pace l. We all should be a part of this mission to conserve the wildlife, so that coming generations can also see them." Dr Neeraj appealed to the people not to hunt wild birds as they are our pride and their presence matters alot. Most of the pheasants found in Indian Himalayas belong to species listed endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. They are also protected under the Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972 and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.


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