Saturday, Oct 01, 2022
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The Dino Frog

The extinction of species is a threat, but happily India is discovering new ones

The Dino Frog The Dino Frog

The World Conservation Union's scare a fortnight ago set the wires on fire—180 species of animals and plants on the threshold of extinction were added to the global Red List this year alone. But while the list of species in dire straits grows longer, we can at least celebrate the several new ones discovered in India in recent years.

Birds are a thoroughly catalogued group, thanks to the efforts of British Raj ornithologists. For much of the century, competitive bird-watchers have had to be satisfied with no more than an occasional rediscovery of a species thought extinct. For decades, interested birders searched randomly for the Forest Owlet in the wilds across the country, with no success. When a group of American ornithologists arrived in late 1997 to look for the bird, they zeroed in on the four locations where it had been seen previously. They hit the jackpot in the forests just outside Mumbai!

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