Imphal, Sep. 10 (EMN): Blue pitta, also known as Southeast Asian mystery bird, a rarely sighted bird in India, was rescued and released in a forest in Manipur’s Tamenglong district on Sunday.
Chiuluan Wildlife Warden Nehemiah Panmei along with village chairman Keiramsinang Gangmei, Rainforest Club Tamenglong members, students and Chiuluan villagers released the bird at Khangchiuluan reserved forest, 150 km west of Imphal.
Before releasing the bird, Pastor Pouri Gangmei of Chiuluan Baptist Church offered a prayer for further multiplication of the species local.
It may be mentioned that hunting of birds and animals in Chiuluan village jurisdiction is prohibited.
Tamenglong district is familiar among the environmentalists because of its unique biodiversity. Southeast Russia and northeast China origin Amur falcon, a pigeon-sized bird visits Tamenglong in large numbers every year as part of their annual North to South to North migratory trip covering a distance of about 22,000 km during winters in search of food and adaptable habitation since time immemorial.
Out of six species belonging to the family Pittidae, according a report published in 2016, blue pitta is amongst the rarest and never having been photographed alive from India. The bird was reported from Dampa Tiger Reserve in Mizoram during a collaborative camera trapping study in February 2015, according to the report said.
However state coordinator RK Birjit of Indian Bird Conservation network who plays a key role in annual water birds census of Loktak and its associated wetlands under state forest department, said the bird is not new to
Leimatak,Lamdan,Joujangtek areas and many parts of Chandel, Churachandpur and Tamenglong.
“People call it Mei-Kou Sang-ban because of its short tail etc.It has a local migratory movement through its oriental region,” Birjit said. “This bird is a least concern species under International Union for Conservation of Nature, global authority on the status of the natural world.”
Otherwise, blue pitta is found in the Indian Subcontinent and Indo-china besides other Southeast Asian countries.