Junglefowl stages comeback in SV Zoo Park

Junglefowl stages comeback in SV Zoo Park
Highlights

The ‘grey junglefowl’, also known as Tella Adivikodi in local parlance, stages a comeback, thanks to the SV Zoological Park Conservation and Breeding Centre located here. The bird was almost extinct for the last two decades due to a variety of reasons.

Tirupati: The ‘grey junglefowl’, also known as Tella Adivikodi in local parlance, stages a comeback, thanks to the SV Zoological Park Conservation and Breeding Centre located here. The bird was almost extinct for the last two decades due to a variety of reasons.

The Central Zoo Authority of India (CZAI), concerned over the fowl (Gallus Sonnerat’s junglefowl) on the brink of extinction, has embarked on breeding programme to restore the species in its natural habitat. The CZAI sanctioned a project with an outlay of Rs 64 lakh to SV Zoological Park (SVZP) to set up a conservation breeding centre for ‘grey junglefowl’.

The bird has been identified as one of the targeted species for conservation and breeding in July 2007. Accordingly, it has been targeted to have at least 100 genetically healthy individual grey fowls through the breeding programme with technical and financial assistance from the CZAI.

The grey junglefowl is a wild species of domestic fowl endemic to the evergreen hill forests in southern and western India. The bird is found mainly in peninsular India but extend into Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and south Rajasthan. The birds are hunted for meat and the long neck hackle feathers used for making fishing lures. Habitat loss is also another threat to the grey jungle fowl.

The centre came up with eight blocks of aviaries, rodent proof flooring, plants, hides, perches etc. in each enclosure. Later a breeding facility was also created to facilitate accommodation of the identified birds separately in the aviaries with their pedigree.

The centre saw the grey junglefowl which is listed in Schedule II of Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 after a decade increase its population and find its way into other zoos in the two Telugu speaking states and also Jamshedpur. The birds’ chipping sounds, kuk…kuk..kura….kuk, speak of its comeback trial in SVZP.

SV Zoo Park curator Srinivasulu Reddy told The Hans India that the grey junglefowl breeding started with three birds rescued from the wild in early 2000. Later, a full-pledged conservation and breeding project was taken up by subjecting the fowl to genetic profiling.

The conservation breeding centre is presently has a stock of 60 fowls. Reddy said the centre will soon reach a stage of multiplying the birds in sufficient numbers so as to release them into their natural habitat in the forests.

The centre is equipped with a hatchery facility to trigger multiplication of the fowl. “We will release additional birds bred at the centre into the forests by retaining at least 100 for conservation purpose.

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