March 27, 2007

Rare species spotted in JNU's biodiversity park

New Delhi, March. 25 (PTI): The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) here has of late got a strange occupant that is catching the attention of zoologists.

A palm civet, an endangered species more commonly known as 'musang', was first spotted in the campus by Surya Prakash of the varsity's Life Sciences Department.

Prakash, who spotted the species last Friday, said it was interesting to find the animal in the national capital.

"I spotted the animal during the day, though it is a nocturnal creature, but what is more interesting is to find it in Delhi. It's an endangered species and Delhi is not listed in the places where it is found," he told PTI.

According to the Wildlife Institute of India, the palm civet is found in parts of Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal, Assam and Andhra Pradesh.

"The JNU campus is full of fruit trees and has human habitation. This is the natural habitat for the palm civet and that could be the precise reason why it was found here," Prakash said.

Of late, the university has found a place in the capital's listed birding destinations. Its lush green campus is home to 125 species of birds and 40 species of butterflies.

Some rare species of birds that can be spotted there are Yellow Wattled Lapwing, Sirkeer Malkoha, Golden Oriole, Black Francolin, Alexandrine Parakeet, Plum Headed Parakeet, Yellow Crowned Woodpecker and Flameback White Capped Bunting Horned Owl.

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