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LESSER FLORICAN (SYPHEOTIDES INDICUS)



  May 06, 2024

LESSER FLORICAN (SYPHEOTIDES INDICUS)



1. What is the Lesser Florican and where is it found?

The Lesser Florican (Sypheotides indicus) is the world’s smallest bustard species, endemic to the Indian subcontinent. Historically, it was widely distributed, but now it breeds only in isolated grassland patches in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh.

2. Why is the Lesser Florican considered critically endangered?

The species is critically endangered primarily due to habitat loss and seasonal variations in rainfall. Surveys indicate an 80% population decline over the past three to four generations in known breeding regions.

3. How does the home range of the Lesser Florican vary, and what factors influence this?

The home range is the area a bird travels to find resources for survival and reproduction. In the Lesser Florican, the home range varies based on intrinsic factors like season, breeding status, and body size, and extrinsic factors such as habitat type and food availability. Studies suggest that telemetry data can reveal more about their movements and spatial patterns.

4. What habitats does the Lesser Florican prefer, and how does this affect its conservation?

The Lesser Florican prefers multi-use agro-grassland habitats with heterogeneous structures, often favoring crops like groundnut and soybean. These preferences reflect the degradation of grasslands across their range. The species also breeds in croplands where grasslands are heavily grazed. Managing and conserving these fragmented habitats amidst agricultural areas is critical for the survival of the species.

5. What are the main threats to the Lesser Florican’s survival?

Key threats include habitat loss due to agricultural expansion, overgrazing, and changing land use practices, as well as fluctuations in seasonal rainfall that impact breeding success and migration patterns.

6. How do movements and migration patterns impact the conservation of the Lesser Florican?

Lesser Floricans are local migrants whose movements are influenced by rainfall. Males exhibit moderate fidelity to their breeding sites, while females migrate seasonally. Understanding these patterns is crucial for effective conservation, as it helps identify important habitats that need protection.

7. What measures could be taken to conserve the Lesser Florican?

Habitat Management: Protecting and restoring grassland habitats and managing croplands in a way that benefits the species.

Research: Expanding telemetry studies to understand home range variations and migration patterns.

Community Involvement: Engaging local communities in conservation efforts by raising awareness about the species and sustainable land use practices.

Policy Support: Formulating conservation policies that prioritize agro-grassland habitat preservation.

8. Why is it important to study the Lesser Florican's habitat and movement patterns?

Studying habitat and movement patterns helps establish comprehensive space-use strategies, providing data that can guide conservation management. It helps identify critical habitats and understand how different environmental variables impact the species, thereby enabling targeted actions for their survival.


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