In an encouraging development, Grey Francolin (Ortygornis pondicerianus) was reported inside the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) of Mumbai.
About Grey Francolin:
- It is a ground-dwelling bird known for its distinctive calls and cryptic plumage.
- They are carnivores (insectivores) and herbivores (granivores).
- Habitat: Grey francolins inhabit open plains, bare or low grass-covered ground in scrub and open country. They are also found in open cultivated lands and scrub forest and are rarely found above an altitude of 500 m above sea level in India.
- Distribution: Grey francolins are found in the Indian subcontinent and Iran. Their distribution is south of the foothills of the Himalayas westwards to the Indus Valley and eastwards to Bengal. They are also found in north-western Sri Lanka.
- Conservation Status
o IUCN Red List :Least Concern
Key facts about Sanjay Gandhi National Park
- It is located in the state of Maharashtra which was formerly known as Borivali National Park.
- The 2400-year-old Kanheri caves are sculpted out of the rocky cliff which lies within the park.
- Flora: Kadamba, Teak, Karanj, Shisham, and species of acacia, Ziziphus, euphorbias etc are found in this National Park.
- Fauna: Chital, Rhesus macaque, Bonnet macaque, Black-naped, Bengal Tiger etc.
Q1) What are Kanheri caves?
The Kanheri Caves are a group of caves and rock-cut monuments cut into a massive basalt outcrop in the forests of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. These caves comprise more than 110 different rock-cut monolithic excavations and are one of the largest single excavations in the country.