Greylag goose spotted in Telangana

The Greylag goose photographed in Bejjur of Kumram Bheem Asifabad district recently.   | Photo Credit: BY ARRANGEMENT

When wildlife biologist at the Palarapu vulture habitat M. Ravikanth, and animal tracker Adduri Mahesh photographed the migratory waterfowl, the Greylag goose (Anser anser), in the tank outside Bejjur mandal headquarters in Kumram Bheem Asifabad district recently, little did they realise that the sighting will add to the list of birds found in Telangana State.

This is the third recorded sighting of the large-sized bird in Telangana, which makes it ‘eligible’ to be the latest addition to the State’s exhaustive list of birds.

“The bird was seen in Mahabubnagar and Hyderabad in 2014, then in undivided Andhra Pradesh, and now in Bejjur (which is part of Kagaznagar Forest Division). As per scientific and accepted norms, a species has to be seen three different times in three different places, or by three independent observers, before it can be accepted as an addition to a State’s list,” birder Humayun Taher of Deccan Birders, Hyderabad, explained the process of including a new bird species in the list. Also, underscoring the need to make the addition.

Blown off course?

Mr. Taher recalls that in all the earlier instances — like the sighting in question — the birds were single or in a pair though the geese are found in large flocks or skeins. “These could be the birds that have been blown off course by strong winds or rain during flight,” he opined.

“Yes, the Greylag goose has been sighted in Bejjur,” confirmed KB Asifabad District Forest Officer Laxman Ranjit Naik. “The Kagaznagar Division and other parts of the forest, especially Tiryani mandal, are conducive to many a bird species thanks to the wetlands,” he stated.

For Ramsar status

The Greylag geese are common visitors to North India in winters, and are found mostly in wetlands there feeding generally on acquatic weeds and grass. “We are now in the process of identifying, surveying and protecting the wetlands in our district by trying to get them the coveted Ramsar status,” Mr. Naik revealed of his department’s efforts in making the place a birding haven.

The Convention on Wetlands or Ramsar convention, named after the city in Iran, aims at conservation and sustainable use of identified wetlands. “If our wetlands get that status, the protection levels will also be improved,” the DFO pointed out.

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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 3:17:39 AM |

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