Yellow-eyed Pigeon Resurfaces in Tal Chhapar Wildlife Sanctuary for Third Year

A Yellow-eyed Pigeon in Tal Chhapar
Ramki Sreenivasan

The rare Yellow-eyed Pigeon, at the turn of the 19th century, used to migrate to India in swarming flocks during winter. However, habitat destruction and unrestrained hunting had driven them out of their wintering grounds in India. But now, the highly vulnerable species is making a comeback and favors the Tal Chhapar wildlife sanctuary in Churu district, Rajasthan. In 2009, the pigeons had flown into Tal Chhapar in small groups and repeated the act again in 2010. This year, the wintering population has more than doubled. The pigeon had resurfaced in Harike near Amritsar, Punjab in the mid-1990s and at the early turn of the 21st century, but had disappeared due to severe habitat disturbance. The birds’ reappearance is great news for the conservation of their numbers.

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