The Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) 2017, carried out at Najafgarh Lake by a team of volunteers accompanied by AWC Delhi State coordinator and ecologist T. K. Roy, has recorded a decline in the number and species of birds.
Water bird census
“We recorded 33 water bird species with a total population of 1,317. Of these, 13 species are resident water birds, including local migratory birds, and 20 are winter migratory water birds, including four species on the IUCN red list of threatened bird,” said Mr. Roy. He and his team, however, confirmed that there are fewer birds this year.
The AWC is part of the International Waterbird Census (IWC) of Wetlands International.
This largest water bird census in Asia is carried out simultaneously in 27 countries once a year.
The survey is conducted across Asia in January by a national network of volunteers and conservation organisations in coordination with national and State coordinators.
“A good monsoon last year revived the Najafgarh Jheel, but it is drying up again this dry winter season and shrinking the bird habitat. The AWC 2017 has recorded less water bird diversity and lower population in comparison with previous AWC results,” explained Mr. Roy.
Climate change a factor
He said most experts hold global climate change responsible for change in the migration trend of birds as well the decline and shrinking of wetlands, due to which fewer birds are coming in.