Bar Headed Goose

Prelims level : Environment Mains level : GS-III Environment & Biodiversity |Climatic Change Conservation, Environmental Pollution & Degradation, Eia
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Why in News? 

  • Forest Department personnel in Karnataka raided an actor’s farmhouse and seized four Bar-headed geese on the grounds that he was possessing them in violation of the law.

 Bar-headed goose:

  • The bar-headed goose (Anser indicus) is a goose that breeds in Central Asia in colonies of thousands near mountain lakes and winters in South Asia, as far south as peninsular India.
  • They have an extremely large range and can be found in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam. They have also been introduced to Canada and Spain.
  • Although it lays eggs in a ground nest it is known for the extreme altitudes it reaches when migrating across the Himalayas.
  • It survives this extreme journey through the powerful and constant flight that helps the body generate heat, which is retained by down feathers. The species also has a special type of haemoglobin that can absorb oxygen more quickly than other birds.
  • The bar-headed goose migrates over the Himalayas to spend the winter in parts of South Asia (from Assam to as far south as Tamil Nadu.
  • The modern winter habitat of the species is cultivated fields, where it feeds on barley, rice and wheat.
  • The summer habitat is high-altitude lakes where the bird grazes on short grass.

Conservation Status:

  • IUCN conservation status of bar-headed goose is classified as ‘Least concern’
  • They are listed in Schedule 2 of the Wild Life Protection Act,1972.
  • Animals under this list are also accorded high protection with the prohibition on their trade Offences under these are prescribed the highest penalties.
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