KRISHNAGAR, 17 SEP: The Border Security Force has seized one piece of the near threatened Victoria Crowned Pigeon bird which was being smuggled to India through Gongra border under Chapra police station limits in Nadia from Bangladesh. BSF troopers during patrolling of the Indo-Bangla border at Gongra outpost on Thursday night seized the bird, which was kept in a cage but smugglers fled the scene, an official said.
The market price of the seized bird is in the range of Rs 3 lakh to Rs 12 lakh, the official said. The official also said that they have handed over the bird before the Nadia district forest officials for conservation.
The Victoria crowned pigeon (Goura victoria) is a large, bluish-grey pigeon with elegant blue lace-like crests, maroon breast and red irises. It is part of a genus (Goura) of four unique, very large, ground-dwelling pigeons native to the New Guinea region. The bird may be easily recognized by the unique white tips on its crests and by its deep ‘whooping’ sounds made while calling. Its name commemorates the British monarch Queen Victoria.
The Victoria crowned pigeon is evaluated as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Originally from New Guinea and introduced to nearby islands, this bird is the largest living pigeon and the closest remaining relative to the extinct dodo bird. It was named in honor of Queen Victoria for its flashy blue crown of intricate lace-like patterns and its regal poise.
In the tropical rainforests of New Guinea, Victoria crowned pigeons were hunted for their meat and feathers. Due to hunting and habitat destruction, the wild population had declined rapidly, endangering the species to near extinction. As a protected species, it has improved from being a “threatened” and “vulnerable” species to “near threatened.”
Victoria crowned pigeons are known to be intelligent and quite easy to tame. This bird is docile by nature, which is why they’re a frequent attraction at zoos. They are often left to roam the grounds freely and tend to be happiest when foraging for food on the ground and wandering around.
This bird can fly short distances but will only fly when necessary, usually when startled, in danger, or in need of a high roost in the trees for the night.
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