Thursday 3 July 2014

Endangered Floricans

Floricans are beautiful, large and highly terrestrial birds in the bustard family, famous for their elaborate courtship display which involves making high jumps in the air to attract a mate. India has both species of florican- the Lesser Florican and the Bengal Florican, both of which are facing grave conservation threats from habitat loss, conversion of their grassland habitats into cultivation, and hunting for meat (that is still prevalent in South-east Asia for the Bengal Florican and extirpated the Lesser Florican from Pakistan). While the Lesser Florican is listed as Endangered on IUCN's Red List, the Bengal Florican is Critically Endangered, with just around 500 individuals alive.

Here are the caricatures of these two majestic birds-

The male Bengal Florican lacks the elongated plumes of the Lesser Florican, instead sporting a crest and neck plumes. The female is dull brown. 
The male Lesser Florican is distinguished by his elongated plumes and white throat, while the female is dull brown. 

Floricans are among the rarest birds in India, with their habitats severely fragmented, and among the most high-priority species from a conservation perspective.

The caricatures are available as prints that can be ordered by mailing me. 

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