Rare Indian grey hornbill sighted in Pak’s Lahore city

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Lahore: A rare Indian grey hornbill, the species of which is listed as “Near Threatened” by an international nature conservation body, was spotted in Pakistan’s Lahore city on Monday.

According to ornithologists, once a native bird of Lahore, the population of the Indian grey hornbill has now gone down to an alarming level with only a few pair left in the city.

Experts attribute their dwindling population to lack of fruit trees in the city. The bird feed themselves on small fruits like wild fig and berries.

The grey bird with dull white belly and a helmet like structure extending to its beak attracted a number of motorists who parked their vehicles along the road to watch the rare avian, which was sitting on the branch of a tree on the Canal Bank Road, The News reported.

Several independent bird surveys revealed that there are only 30 to 50 species left in Lahore. The number was 240 in 1965 and 101 in 1992.

Indian grey hornbills are listed as “Near Threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). They are found mainly from the foothills of the Himalayas southwards, bounded to the west by the Indus system and to the east by the Ganges Delta.