INDIAN SKIMMER (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env & Eco)

News-CRUX-10     23rd September 2023        

Context: The endangered Indian Skimmer was recently spotted along the Ghaghra River at Dudhwa Tiger Reserve.

Indian Skimmer

  • About: It is an odd bird which belongs to the family of skimmers, Rynchopidae.
  • Scientific Name: Rynchops albicollis
  • Other names: Indian scissors-bill
  • Habitat: It occurs primarily on larger, sandy, lowland rivers, around lakes and adjacent marshes, and, in the non-breeding season, in estuaries and coasts.
  • Distribution: North Indian rivers, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, China, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

oNow, much of the population is confined to north Indian River systems and Pakistan. 

  • IUCN Red List: Endangered
  • Features: It measures 40 to 43 cm in length and has a wingspan of 110 cm.

oThe forehead and the collar are white, and the crown is black.

Dudhwa Tiger Reserve

  • Location: Lakhimpur-Kheri in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Rivers: The Sharda River, Geruwa River, Suheli, and Mohana, all of which are tributaries of the mighty Ghagra River.
  • Vegetation: North Indian Moist Deciduous type, containing some of the finest examples of Sal forests (Shorea robusta) in India.
  • Flora: Sal forest, Terminalia alata (Asna), Lagerstroemia parviflora (Asidha), etc.
  • Fauna: Tiger, Fishing cat, Monkey, Mongoose, small Indian civet, Jackal, Dabchick, spot-billed pelican, Little cormorant, Grey Heron, White stork, Black storck, White Ibis, Python, Sandboa, Russel’s viper, Rat snake etc.
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