Floricans are with the family of bustards and korhaans—the group of heavily built yet flying birds spread across the Old-World countries.
There are 25 species all specialised for open plains and steppe habitats. As grasslands and plain lands are under threats, all of these 25 species are threatened including all four subcontinental species: the Great Indian bustard, Macqueen's bustard, Bengal Florican and Lesser Florican.
Bangladesh is the historic range country of the latter two. There has been no sighting of the Bengal Florican and the Lesser Florican since 1882 and 1849 respectively.
The Bengal Florican is restricted to the Terai arc, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, India and the Tonlé Sap Lake grasslands, Indochina.
The Lesser Florican is endemic to the Indian Subcontinent, and now lives in certain Central Indian states.
Name and global status
Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis (Critically Endangered)
Lesser Florican Sypheotides indicus (Endangered)
Floricans are some of the heaviest flying living birds. The Kori bustard of Africa can weigh up to 20 kg and will still be flying! There is an Anglo-Saxon origin behind the name.
The Latin Avis Tarda refers to 'clumsy bird' although bustards are fast-runners.
Perhaps, the name marks the ease in hunting these queer birds for it must be difficult for them to hide with a large body. Hunting drove bustards out from several European countries.