ITANAGAR, 10 Aug: Critically endangered Bugun Liocichla of the family Leiothrichidae was spotted for the first time outside the Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary near Lapchey (Tawla Phohchin) in West Kameng district by a team of bird watchers on 7 and 8 August.
Discovered as new species in 2006 by an astrophysicist Raman Athreya, this bird was first spotted in 1995. Since its discovery in 2006, only 14 pairs of this critically endangered bird have been spotted till date.
The latest sighting was made at an altitude of 1900 meters above the mean sea level in a bamboo forest.
Only male Bugun Liocichla was spotted on both the days. The video of the birds was captured by Lobsang Tsering, who led the team.
“Lapche” literally means passage between the mountains. As per Lt. Tawla Thungon, a Bon Priest, Lapche is a very sacred place as it is considered to be an abode of mountain deities.
Lobsang, who originally hails from Dirang, is based at Ramaling in Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary.
Shergaon, where the latest sighting has occurred, is an Important Bird Area (IBA) and Endemic Bird Area (EBA).
More than 250 species of birds are believed to be found at Shergaon. It had added another feather to its cap after this sighting. Previously, some famous bird species such as Black-necked crane and Ward’s Trogon have also been spotted in Shergaon.
The forest near Lapche is also famous for its different varieties of medicinal flora, said Gombu Tsering Thungon, a local resident of Shergaon.