Birders in Indore can rejoice as the endangered Lesser Florican, also known as Kharmore, has been reportedly sighted twice in 24 hours at Shikarwadi area of Sailana Bird Sanctuary in Ratlam district.
A forest guard spotted the bird at the 200 hectares-wide Naulakha grassland in Shikarwadi hunting lodge within the sanctuary. “I first saw the Kharmore on Monday evening and then on Tuesday morning,” said forest guard Khima.
Ujjain chief conservator of forest (CCF) BS Annigiri said he would verify the presence of the species, facing extinction threats as per International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) data, before making the official announcement.
A total of 24 Kharmores were spotted at the sanctuary in 2015, up from 14 the year before. The birds visit Sailana and the Sardarpur Sanctuary in Dhar district during this time of the year to breed. Male birds jump as high as eight feet in the air around 600 times a day to attract female birds. They leave the sanctuary with young ones in October.
Sailana Bird Sanctuary and the Sardarpur Sanctuary are established exclusively for conservation of Lesser Florican, which have also been sighted in the Petlawad range, Jhabua district and at grasslands near Ujjain.
Ornithologist Ajay Gadikar said the news will attract bird lovers because of their delayed arrival this year. “Usually Kharm ores are sighted by the last week of June but this year their arrival has been delayed by a week.”