Falcated Duck sighted in Goa

A rare vagrant species to the south of India, it has become the latest addition to the checklist of ‘Birds of Goa’.

Published - February 23, 2016 03:33 pm IST - PANAJI:

The birders of Goa have sighted a new bird Falcated Duck, a very rare vagrant species to the south of India, which became the latest addition to the checklist of ‘Birds of Goa’.

On February 13, three local birders Justino Rebello, Manoj Sankav and Mangrish Dharwardkar went to Ambulor Lake in Verna in south Goa, around 25 km from here for birding and Justino photographed the

Falcated Duck.

 “I managed to take a few shots of the bird before it disappeared in the submerged trees amidst the lake’’ said Justino.

“The Falcated duck is a regular winter migrant to the northern States of India. They breed in Russia and north China in summers and migrates towards north of India in winter. Some individuals though are known to move further south. There are two reports of this species from south of India. The first was reported from Tamil Nadu in 2012 while in January 2015 a single individual was reported from Akola in Maharashtra and this sighting by the birding trio is only the third from south India,” Mandar Bhagat, Joint secretary of Goa Bird

Conservation Network(GBCN) told The Hindu on Tuesday.

Parag Rangnekar, President of GBCN, an avid bird watcher said that the Falcated duck is classified as near threatened in terms of its conservation prioritization by International Union for Conservation of Nature. Recent estimates have put the world population of this species to be just about 89,000 individuals. The greatest threat faced by this species globally is the loss of habitat and hunting. Loss of habitat in their winter migratory region is also a cause for concern.

“Wetlands have a very important ecological role and in Goa we have a strong link with the way we live. Migratory birds are an important component of any wetland ecosystem. In recent years the number of vagrant migratory species visiting the State has been increasing and there could be many reasons for this,” said Prasanna Parab, reviewer for eBird Goa.

"Now it would be safe to say that we need to sustainably use our wetlands to ensure that our winged visitors keep returning every year in even greater numbers. With this new sighting, the checklist of Birds of Goa stands at 461 species thanks to our ever vigilant and active bird watchers”, says Mr. Rangnekar.

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