The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has approved the proposal to provide an advanced breeding centre for Monal bird in Manali. It will be first such breeding centre in western Himalayas

The exercise to build a centre for keeping a close watch on the breeding of Himalayan monal was started in 2009, but the centre is in a bad condition due to lack of funds. Now the advanced centre would come up in its place. Many designs were rejected and finally the Zoo Authority of India ratified an ultra modern design for a centre for the Himalayan monal (lophophorus impejanus). To keep a close watch on birds, cameras would be installed in the cages and a stud book would be maintained. Each bird will get a name and their complete case study data since birth would be prepared. At present, the Manali centre has 5 pairs of monal while Himachal has about 5,000. The Delhi zoo authority will be spending about Rs 1 crore on this project.

Divisional forest officer (wildlife) B S Rana said CZA will soon install cages and cameras to record the activities of monal. “This would definitely prove a vital step in the conservation of the Himalayan monal. They would get a new life after this move,” he said. Rana said cages would be designed according to the weather conditions in Manali, so that even heavy snowfall would not have any effect on them.

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