Jessami village, in the remote north of Ukhrul district, is set to inaugurate Hume’s Pheasant (Nongin bird) community reserve.
Hume's Pheasant (Syrmaticus humiae) is also known as Hume's Pheasant or the bar-tailed Pheasant. In Meitei/Meetei it is known as Nongin and is the state bird of Manipur.
The Jessami Hume's Pheasant Community Reserve was established in 2022.
The village is situated along NH 202 and shares a border with Manipur's neighbouring state Nagaland.
ALSO READ: Understanding Nongin for conservation and management actions
Dhritiman Mukherjee, nature, wildlife conservation photographer and Ambassador, Roundglass Sustain and Sony India will grace the occasion as guest of honour, while Shanngam Shaliwo, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Ukhrul; P Duna Duo, SDO Jessami also in charge ADM, Jessami and Umesh Srinivasan, assistant professor, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science (IIS) will be the special guests.
The event will be held at Lhetobeh, Jessami village in the last part of January.
Nongin, the state Bird of Manipur, was majestically and proudly perched on the branch of a tree in the dark of the night, deep in the forest of Jessami village in Ukhrul district of Manipur, its natural habitat, when team Imphal Free Press (IFP) found the wild bird called Chara in Jessami on Friday, January 20.
And, for the first time in the history of Manipur, team IFP live streamed the state birds in their natural habitat on IFP’s social media pages. The birds were spotted along Jessami hills range about 10 km away from Jessami block headquarters when team IFP went on a trail to Jessami forest in search of it.
The bird species, whose number is estimated to be around 300, is hard to capture in the wild for they are known to be shy and sensitive.
Earlier, Imphal Free Press was a part of the team that rediscovered Nong-in at Razai village in Ukhrul district on July 19, 2022 and brought to the government attention the urgent need to protect and preserve the state bird.
ALSO READ: IFP Impact: Nongin habitat Razai Khullen to be declared ‘Community Reserve’
Nongin’s past range reportedly covers Razai village and Shirui village in Ukhrul district and Jessami. However, experts say that its exact population size and status remain unknown. But this rare and endangered bird is reportedly vanishing.
Nongin is usually found in March or early April and its breeding time is May, when the vegetation is dry. It is evaluated as Near Threatened (NT) by the IUCN Red List of threatened species.
The bird is listed on Appendix 1 of CITES and Schedule 1 species under the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA), 1972. The state bird is known by various names under different dialects, Nonggin by Meitei community, Tharikthra in Tangkhul, Wa-ru in Lamkang and Lickashila in Razai groups etc.