Waterbird species down by half in EGREE Region

The number of water bird species has declined by half in most habitats across the East Godavari River Estuarine Ecosystem (EGREE) region. This was revealed during a census conducted in the region, including the Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary and parts of Mada forest and Papikondalu regions. The census was conducted on February 20 and 21 in accordance with Asian Waterbird Census guidelines.

It was found that the number of waterbird species has come down to half compared with the Asian Waterbird Census 2017. However, it is noteworthy that in the census, uncommon bird species such as Eurasian spoonbill or common spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia, Oyster catcher (Haematopus ostralegus) and Yellow bittern (Ixobrychus sinensis) were recorded. The Yellow bittern was not recorded in previous census.

Globally endangered

According to J.S.N. Murthy Chief Executive Officer of EGREE and Chief Conservator of Forests, Rajamahendravaram region, a total of 23,779 birds of 85 waterbird species, including 34 migratory, 30 resident and breeding, five local migratory and 12 local or migratory species, were recorded. Of he 85 recorded species 57 are least concern, 17 were not evaluated, 10 of them were near threatened and one is globally endangered waterbird species.

Mr. Murthy said the authorities formed 12 groups consisting 18 personnel each, based on number of wetlands and birding areas, and each census unit was provided with Asian Waterbird Census site form, bird identification book, details of route and a pair of binoculars and other items. The count data submitted by all the groups was verified by Eswar Narayana, Research Associate, EGREE Foundation, and K. Mrutyunjaya Rao, State coordinator, Indian Bird Conservation Network, and experts from EGREE.

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