Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Bengal Florican (Houbaropsis bengalensis)

OTHER NAMES: Bengal Bustard
Latin Etymology: Houbaropsis "(Houbara (bustard) appearance") bengalensis ("of Bengal")
Adult male Bengal Florican (subspecies H. b. blandini) at Florican Grasslands, Cambodia - February 2019

Featured Subspecies: Houbaropsis bengalensis blandini
Weight: 1.2-1.9kg  /  Length: 66-68cm  /  Wingspan: 72-105cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Critically Endangered

As on the time of writing this, the Bengal Florican is the most critically endangered species I've seen in the nearly ten years I've been producing this website.  The bustards as a whole seem to be one of the most vulnerable families of birds to human activity due to their relatively slow reproduction rate and ground-nesting habitat that often has them dwelling within farmland.  Only two population areas of this species remains; one in India and Nepal, the other in Cambodia and there are potentially less than 1000 left worldwide.  They also have a wonderfully comic mating display involving hopping out of long grass and then parachuting down.

Related Species:
Order: Otidiformes
Family: Otididae
Genus: Houbaropsis
SUBSPECIES: H. b. bengalensis, N. b. blandini 

 - Sighting Locations -
CAMBODIA  Khmer: ខ្សឹប  ទ្រមាក់អណ្តើក ("Whisper" or "Turtle tail")
A critically endangered resident
SINGAPORE / CAMBODIA 2019 TRIP - One seen at Florican Grassland Reserve

Further Notes: BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red List, RSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto

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