India is rich in all the aspects! Being the seventh largest country in the world, India has a variety of geographical zones with at least three biodiversity hotspots. It is one of the 17 mega-diverse countries and is host to a wide spectrum of flora and fauna.
Interestingly, India is home to nearly 12% of the world’s bird species with more than 1263 bird species in total, which is probably more than what is found in the whole of Europe! In an attempt to commemorate the bird species unique to India, India Post had issued a set of four stamps in 1975.
We saw two of these stamps in our previous news articles. You can read them here. Now let’s see the third of the series:
Western Tragopan: Found mostly in the western Himalayas, this bird has distinctive red-orange neck against its full black head and brown-grey plumage. Spending most of the time in the chilly Himalayas, in winter the Western Tragopan descends to grassy or shrubby areas with less snow cover. A bird shy like our Indian Pitta, it is rather heard and seen. Being categorised as “Vulnerable”, increasing tourist activities during the summers – it’s mating season - has led to a steady decrease in its population.
Did you know that “Sonalu” or Western Tragopan shown on this Re.1 stamp was officially accorded the status of the State bird of Himachal Pradesh in 2007?
Image Courtesy: Mintage World