Fascinating Story of Discovering a new bird species:
Hanuman Plover is the latest species addition to the Avian world.
The old “Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus)” complex consisted of several subspecies before 2009. Now all of them (C. dealbatus is still in a debate) have been identified as separate taxonomic entities.
This research focused on the resident subspecies C. a. seebhomi in Sri Lanka and SE India.
Based on differences in genotype, phenotype, allochronic migratory pattern and breeding range, we uplifted the taxonomic position to species level. We resurrected the most suitable synonym, Charadrius alexandrinus seebohmi Hartert and Jackson, 1915, and proposed the English name ‘Hanuman Plover’.
“Hanuman” is an almighty Hindu ape God, and divine vanara (ape) companion of the god Rama. We proposed the name to honour our field sites in Mannar, Rama Sethu (aka Adam’s Bridge) which is a chain of isles connecting Indian mainland to the Sri Lankan Island.
For this research, I mainly did field work at Mannar island, Sri Lanka with my research supervisor, Prof. Sampath Senevirathna.
This research won the Best Undergraduate Research in Zoology award offered by Sri Lanka Natural History Society | SLNHS (Est. 1912)
Hanuman Plover in News!!
Featured in Natural History Museum website
Featured in University of Colombo website
Hanuman Plover research was also featured in many mainstream TV channels and news paper releases.
From Dunes to Genes: Fascinating discovery of a new Plover species: Hanuman Plover
A public webinar on Hanuman Plover Organized by SLNHS (Sri Lankan Natural History Society)
Click here to watch the webinar