State to launch conservation plan for Eurasian Curlew

The Andhra Pradesh government is all set to launch an action plan for the conservation of near threatened Eurasian Curlew (Numenius Arquata).

The Asian Waterfowl Census (AWC-2020) carried out in January recorded as many as 138 Eurasian Curlews in the Godavari estuary, mud-flats and salt pans in the East Godavari Riverine Estuarine Ecosystem (EGREE) in Andhra Pradesh.

“The Census has recorded 138 Eurasian Curlews through direct sighting. We are preparing a map archiving the sighting sites for future references and preparing the conservation plan,” Divisional Forest Officer (Wildlife-Rajamahendravaram) told The Hindu.

National plan

The national action plan (2018-23) has committed for habitat conservation and research with international cooperation on the list of migratory birds, including Eurasian Curlew.

“The global population (of Eurasian Curlew) is on the decline due to habitat destruction,” observes the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC). The action plan aims to conserve migratory birds and their habitats along the Central Asian Flyway and the plan has been developed by MoEFCC - Wildlife Division.

Expert panel

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Forest Resources) V. Bhaskara Ramana Murthy told The Hindu, “The sighting of 138 Eurasian Curlews is still considered a low number in the EGREE. The experts in the areas of population dynamics, habitat management and remote sensing have been formed into a team that is working on the conservation plan of the Eurasian Curlew in the EGREE. It will be executed once it gets the approval of the MoEFCC.”

“The details of the Eurasian Curlew recorded in the East Godavari district were shared at the 13th meeting of the CoP to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (January 15-22) held in Gujarat,” added Mr. Ramana Murthy.

According to a book, ‘Waterbirds of EGREE’, authored by P. Sathiyaselvam and Mr. Mrutyunjaya Rao, the Eurasian Curlew is solitary or in small parties. It migrates from the Central Siberia to the EGREE in October and is home-bound by April.

Indian Bird Conservation Network coordinator (Andhra Pradesh) and AWC-2020 principal coordinator K. Mrutyunjaya Rao said, “Recording the Eurasian Curlew is a celebration in the EGREE. However, documenting the threats of the migratory birds, preparation and execution of the action plan is need of the hour.”

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