In the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, though, a court has halted construction of a major water canal to save one of the world’s rarest birds.
Only about 50 Jerdon’s coursers (Rhinoptilus bitorquatus) are believed to be left in the wild and are found in scrub-jungle habitat in the Sri Lankamalleswara Wildlife Sanctuary, which the Andhra Pradesh government created to protect the remaining birds.
The Teluga Ganga Canal, being built to bring water to Chennai, India’s fourth-largest city, will now be diverted around the sanctuary, rather than running straight through as originally planned. The Supreme Court halted construction because of the threat to the birds and local authorities will compensate local villagers for the loss of extra land.
Dr Panchapakesan Jeganathan, a scientist at the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), said: “This bird is more threatened than the tiger and very few people have ever seen it.