The bird, which was believed to be extinct, was sighted last month in the forests around the Kutumbsar caves, famous for their stalagmites, in Bastar. Enthused by the discovery, the Chhattisgarh government has now decided to go ahead full steam with its ‘Save Bastar Mynah’ campaign.
Aid for the project is being sought from the wwf. Says a forest department functionary: "We intend to create an ideal habitat for it, besides launching a campaign to make people aware of the need to protect it."
Prized for its ability to mimic humans, the mynah inhabits the edges of forests. Its cousins once lived in the area stretching from Indo-China to Sri Lanka.
In 1990, the Madhya Pradesh government had launched a project to preserve the bird. However, it was abandoned because the bird was thought to have become extinct.
After coming into existence in November 2000, the Chhattisgarh state adopted the Bastar hill mynah as its state bird and now intends to make sure that it lives, not only in its emblem, but also in its forests.