The Himalayan Quail, also known as the Mountain Quail or Snow Partridge, was a bird species native to the western Himalayan region of India, specifically the states of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. First discovered in 1829, the species was last sighted in 1876 and has been declared extinct since.
The Himalayan Quail was a plump, medium-sized bird with brown plumage and distinctive black and white scalloping on its upper body. It had a short, rounded tail and a small, curved beak. The male had a red beak and legs, while the female’s were yellow. The species was known for its distinctive call, a loud, nasal “kak-kak-kak.”
The bird was primarily found in oak and rhododendron forests, as well as grassy meadows and shrublands, at altitudes of 1,800 to 3,600 meters above sea level. They were known to form flocks of up to 25 birds and feed primarily on insects, seeds, and small fruits.
The decline of the Himalayan Quail is attributed to habitat loss due to deforestation and the conversion of their natural habitat into agricultural land. The bird was also hunted for sport and its meat, which was considered a delicacy. The introduction of predators such as feral cats and dogs is also believed to have contributed to their decline.
Efforts to locate the Himalayan Quail since their last sighting have been unsuccessful, and it is now considered one of the rarest bird species in the world. Despite its extinction, the Himalayan Quail remains an important conservation symbol, representing the importance of preserving and protecting biodiversity and ecosystem services.