Number of birds visiting Nanjarayan Tank on the decline

There is a decline in the number of migratory birds visiting the Nanjarayan Tank near Uthukuli in Tiruppur district compared to previous years, a recent bird census carried out by the Forest Department has revealed.

As per the orders of Tiruppur District Forest Officer P.K. Dileep, the census was carried out in January by a team of officials led by Tiruppur Forest Range Officer S. Mahes.

Ms. Mahes told The Hindu the decline in number of pelicans, storks, ibises, darters and geese is more pronounced. Only 17 spot-billed pelicans were recorded during the census. “Until last year, between 200 and 300 spot-billed pelicans arrived in Nanjarayan Tank during October and stayed till February,” Ms. Mahes said. However, most of these birds left in November 2019, leaving only 17 in January. Only seven bar-headed geese, a migratory bird from eastern and southern parts of Asia, were recorded in the census. Other migratory birds recorded in less numbers were three glossy ibises and two darters.

The Forest Department identified and recorded 40 different species of birds during the census, but the number might change depending on the seasons. The exercise spanned three weeks in January, with the number of birds noted once a week and the final number was obtained after averaging the readings, Ms. Mahes said.

K. Ravindran, a bird watcher and president of Nature Society of Tiruppur, said that apart from the above-mentioned birds, duck species such as northern shovelers, garganey, northern pintails and common teal also saw a decline in this season. He claimed that the “change in ecosystem” of Nanjarayan Tank due to desilting, illegal fishing and growth of hyacinth might have contributed to the decline. “Reviving the habitat is a Herculean task,” Mr. Ravindran said.

However, Ms. Mahes said that the Forest Department has not yet confirmed the cause of the decline.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 9:21:53 AM |

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