Andhra Pradesh

Arrival of Asian Openbill Storks delayed at Atapaka

A file photo of an open storkwhich glides in search of preyat Kolleru in Krishna district.Photo: Ch. Vijaya Bhaskar   | Photo Credit: CH_VIJAYA BHASKAR

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The avian guests fail to arrive because of scorching heat

G.Kondepadu and Chodavaram villages outside the Kolleru Wildlife Sanctury (KWS) where the Asian Open-billed Stork nest in large numbers will be given satellite sanctuary status for the protection of the birds. Former Assistant Conservator of Forest who is currently a consultant to the Forest Department P.Gracious told The Hindu that the Open-billed Storks come to feed in the KWS and the Atapaka Pelican Paradise only when there was water.

Bird lovers have to wait for at least a fortnight more to spot the first flock of Openbill Storks at Atapaka this season. The off-white and black avian guests did not arrive at the usual time of the year because of the unpredictable climatic conditions and scorching heat with temperatures soaring. The number of Asian Openbill Stork (Anastomus Oscitans) is the second highest among the birds at the sanctuary, a Ramsar site in Andhra Pradesh, after the Painted Storks. Expecting that the winged visitors will arrive at the lake soon after a few spells of rain, the Forest Department authorities made all the arrangements such as maintenance of water level in the lake and arranging of nets in strategic locations.

“Not even a single Openbill Stork has arrived to KWS till now. They start breeding by August-end. The breeding season is also likely to get delayed by more than a fortnight,” Kaikaluru Sub Divisional Forest Officer S.K. Kalilullah told The Hindu.

“The chicks born last season have grown and are physically ready for breeding this season,” said Mr. Kalilullah. The two major works for tourist attraction — renovation of Environment Education Centre and development of boating point — have been stopped in the wake of ongoing protests and non-availability of necessary resources to complete it.

Mr. Gracious said that the Forest Department was going to provide some incentives to the residents of G.Kondepadu and Chodavaram to protect the birds.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2017 2:33:42 PM | http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/arrival-of-asian-openbill-storks-delayed-at-atapaka/article5082184.ece