More winged guests arrive at Delhi zoo

Despite bad air quality in the city, Delhi still has a reason to cheer. The Delhi zoo has registered an increase in the bird population, according to the Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) carried out recently.

What makes this arrival a reason to celebrate is the fact that seasonal wetlands are shrinking fast or getting dried up due to global climate change. This in turn is affecting the migration trend of migratory birds. According to environmentalists, there has been a reduction in the number of migratory bird arrivals and the diversity of water birds being observed everywhere.

AWC programme is the largest water bird census in Asia and Australasia. It is carried out simultaneously once a year in January across 27 countries by a national network of volunteers and partner organisations. It records overall water bird diversity with population and wetland site information to maintain an overview of the population size, status and trends of water birds. The AWC 2016 was carried out at Delhi zoo in January by a team of AWC volunteers in coordination with AWC Delhi State Coordinator and ecologist T. K. Roy.

“Although there isn’t the expected species diversity, with Delhi zoo having minimum water levels due to less rain during the monsoon, but the total population has increased, especially that of painted storks. The numbers have increased since last year for successful breeding. Painted storks migrate at Delhi zoo every year in August for breeding and leave sometime in the months of February/March,” said Mr. Roy.

The census recorded 20 water bird species diversity on the two small wetlands with total population of 1,008. Of the 20 species diversity, 14 species of resident-water birds and six species of winter migratory water birds from Central and North Asian region were spotted.

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Printable version | Aug 16, 2020 2:06:09 AM |

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