Wetlands in Coimbatore home for 162 bird species, says recent survey

Resident species outnumbered migrants when a total of 162 species of birds were spotted in the wetlands of Coimbatore in the recently concluded Asian Waterbird Census (AWC).

Of the 162 species, 125 were resident and 37 migrant; comprising 103 land birds and 59 waterbirds. The total number of birds spotted in the census was 5,996. The census held between January 5 and 20 covering 26 wetlands also saw an increase in terms of the number of species spotted compared to the results of census in previous years.

Meanwhile, the census data showed that the overall bird population declined in the last three years from 7,079 in 2017 to 5,996 this year. This was attributed to the drop in migrant bird population by 34 % while residents showed a steady population.

Interesting sightings recorded in the census included Temminck’s Stint, Syke’s Warbler, Blyth’s Pipit, Lesser Sand Plover and Yellow Bittern. While Cattle Egret, Indian Pond-Heron and Little Cormorant, the top three resident waterbirds sighted, Wood Sandpiper, Western Yellow Wagtail and Common Sandpiper were the top three migrant waterbirds.

Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, House Crow, Common Myna and Rose-ringed Parakeet were the most populous resident and migrant land birds. Krishnampathi tank stood at the top of the chart with the sighting of 72 bird species and 853 individuals. Average number of species found in a wetland stood at 37 while the average bird population of a wetland was at 232.

Average number of species per wetland showed an increasing trend which according to the surveyors could be due to increased pressure of species to move out from their regular operational area for lack of food and habitat.

According to them, Vellalore, Senkulam, Achankulam, Krishnampathy, Kolarampathy, and Pallapalayam wetlands assume significance as they provide suitable breeding habitats for Pelicans, Herons and Egrets, Swamphens and Coots, and Ducks such as Lesser Whistling and Spot-billed.

During the survey, the quality of wetlands in the upper Noyyal-fed areas were assessed better than those falling in the lower areas.

Coimbatore Nature Society took the lead in the survey in Coimbatore for the seventh consecutive year under the leadership of Selvaraj P.R., Chetan H. Joshi, Prakash G., Balaji P.B., Gaja Mohanraj D., Sahithya Selvaraj, Suresh K. and Srinivas Rav. AWC is a part of the global International Waterbird Census.

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 5:48:36 PM |

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