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Species: Lophura leucomelanos hamiltoni
Common Name: White-crested Khalij Pheasant
Local Name: Khalij (Hindi)
The Khalij pheasant is a ground-dwelling, swift-running game bird found all along the Himalayan foothills. It resembles the village hen to a great extent. Nine subspecies have been identified distributed in various ranges. These include the white-crested khalij (L. l. hamiltoni) found in western Himalayas up to extreme west Nepal, Nepal khalij (L. l. leucomelanos) endemic to...
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Species: Macaca munzala
Common Name: Arunachal macaque
Local Name: Mun zala (Dirang Monpa tribe of Arunachal Pradesh)
Macaca munzala is a new species of primates from the forests of western Arunachal Pradesh. It was discovered by scientists in 2003 and reported as a new species in 2005, more than a century after the last species of primates was discovered. However, the locals were aware of the existence of this species for quite sometime. In fact, the species name is derived from its local...
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Species: Marmota himalayana
Common Name: Himalayan Marmot
Local Name: Phia, Mirgot (Ladakhi)
Closely related to prairie dogs and ground squirrels, marmots are the largest ground-dwelling squirrels in the world. Their genus name Marmota means ‘mountain mouse’. Fourteen species of marmots are found, but only in the Northern Hemisphere. Distributed in the Himalayan region, the Himalayan marmot is roughly the size of a domestic cat. The distinctive feature of...
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Species: Neofelis nebulosa
Common Name: Clouded leopard
Local Name: Kung (Bhotia), Amchita (Nepali), Pungmar (Lepcha)
Despite its name, the clouded leopard is not closely related to the leopard. The smallest of the big cats, the species is sufficiently distinct from other members of the Felidae family to be placed in a separate genus – Neofelis, which is originating from two words, neo meaning "new", and felis meaning "small cat". The common name is derived from its...
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Species: Ophrysia superciliosa
Common Name: Himalayan Quail
Local Name: Sano kalo titra (Nepal)
It is a medium sized bird (approximately 25 cm) resembling the partridge with coral red coloured bill (in males) and dull red legs. The male is slate grey in colour with a black head and throat, white forehead and black under-tail-coverts spotted with white. The female can be identified by brown upper parts, buff coloured headsides and underparts and dark streaks running from...
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Species: Pardofelis marmorata
Common Name: Marbled Cat
Local Name: Marbel biral (Bengali: Bangladesh, India), Shih mao, Shihban mao, Xiao yunbao (Chinese), Kucing batu (Indonesia), Kucing dahan (Malaysia), Kyaung tha lin (Myanmar), Maew laey hin on (Thailand)
A miniature version of the clouded leopard, the marbled cat is slightly larger than the domestic cat, with a total body length of about 45-62 cm where the tail length is alone 35-55 cm. It has a shoulder height of about 28 cm and weighs around 2-5 kg. The tail is extremely long (three-quarters of the body length), bushy and aids the animal in balancing. The marbled cat has...
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Species: Procapra picticaudata
Common Name: Tibetan Gazelle
Local Name: Goa (Tibetan, Ladakhi)
The Tibetan gazelle is a stocky animal that inhabits the Tibetan plateau. Its barrel shaped body is sandy brown to grayish brown in summer and turns pale during winter. The neck and head are paler than the main body and the underparts are whitish in colour. It has a bulky head with long pointed ears, long neck, thin fine legs and a short black-tipped tail. The animal has a...
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Species: Tadorna ferruginea
Common Name: Ruddy Shelduck, Brahmini Duck
Local Name: Muru, Maroo, Nguru (Ladakhi), Surkhab (Hindi/Urdu), Chakwa-chakwi (Hindi)
The genus name Tadorna has Celtic roots and means “pied waterfowl”. This is essentially the same as the English common name “shelduck”. In India, the species is commonly known as Brahmini duck. Held sacred in Buddhist scriptures, the Brahmini Duck is a distinctive bird having rusty brown plumage with prominent metallic-green speculum and white wing...
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Species: Tragopan melanocephalus
Common Name: Western Tragopan, Western Horned Tragopan, Black-headed Tragopan
Local Name: Jujurana (Himachal Pradesh)
The western tragopan is a medium sized brightly coloured pheasant. The males have greyish black feathers with black-bordered white spots and a conspicuous red collar and whattle (fleshy wrinkled fold of skin hanging from the throat). The lappet (flap-like structure at the neck) is bright blue with purple markings while the head is black and has two colourful fleshy...
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