Manipur’s state bird 'Nong-in' spotted in the wild - Eastern Mirror
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Manipur’s state bird ‘Nong-in’ spotted in the wild

By Sobhapati Samom Updated: Jul 25, 2022 8:49 pm
Manipur state bird (Nong-in). Photo by Oken Sanasam

Our Correspondent

Imphal, July 25 (EMN): After reports of the sighting of Nong-in, Manipur’s state bird, the people of the state including the well known environmentalist Dr. Khangembam Shamungou have expressed the need to conserve the wild bird by developing a Nong-in park in Ukhrul district.

Nong-in in local tongue or Hume’s Pheasant(Syrmaticus humiae) also known as Mrs Hume’s barredback Pheasant or bar-tailed pheasant was named Manipur state bird on March 21,1989 and is included in the Scheduled I of the Wildlife Protection Act,1972.

The bird usually resides near rivers with rocky hillsides abundant with scrub forests.

Dr. Shamungou, a former lecturer of the then prestigious DM College of Science, who has written many wildlife books including that of the state animal-Sangai (Brow-antlered deer), made the appeal to develop a park to conserve the state bird after a 4-member team of wildlife enthusiasts photographed the magnificent bird in the wild for the first time at Razai village, about 150 km east of Imphal in Ukhrul district on July 19.

 “I went to Razai village and stayed overnight in 2010 but I couldn’t see the bird in the wild even though there are reports of spotting the bird in Razai, Jessami and Shirui ranges in Ukhrul districts,” Dr. Shamungou said. “It may also be available in Tipaimukh and Kailam range in southern Manipur which borders Mizoram.”

Two days after sighting the state bird in the wild and it’s report published in local media, the photographer Oken Sansam in a Facebook post wrote, “I’m the first photographer in Manipur of Hume’s Pheasant (Nongin) in wild after AO Hume’s discovery of it in 1881. First recorded in India from Nagaland in the year 2016 (January) by the photographer Rofikal Islam and Second recorded at the same spot by Jainy Maria (Banglore based photographer)(March)Next to Nagaland I’ve recorded from Razai village of Ukhrul, Manipur, this is the third time in this country.”

Earlier, WildLife and Environment Protection Organisation, Manipur and Razai village authority had called on the government and concerned departments to develop a wildlife park at Razai village to conserve Nong-in in the line of Keibul Lamjao National park for conserving Sangai.

Even though the villagers of Razai were initially not aware of the bird, which was once in abundance, they  have stopped hunting the bird after learning of its significance.

“A fine of INR 10,000 has been imposed on anyone hunting the bird,” said Church chairman Ishmael HS of Razai village who had once handed over a couple of these birds to state zoological garden authority through Forest officials in 2013-14.

By Sobhapati Samom Updated: Jul 25, 2022 8:49:39 pm