Many rare, uncommon and near-threatened water bird species have been sighted in the wetlands in the State during the Asian Waterbird Census – 2021. The count of migratory birds is good in all mudflats, say the wildlife officials.
There are 27 wetlands in Andhra Pradesh, and rare species of birds, which have not been seen for the last few years were noticed in Nelapattu, Kolleru and Coringa sanctuaries during the census carried out in January this year, said Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF-Wildlife) Rahul Pandey.
About 80 teams, including forest authorities, ornithologists, NGOs and the bird watchers carried out the Asian Waterbird Census in the wetlands, creeks, sanctuaries, mudflats, marshy areas and the bird habitats in the State.
“I visited Kolleru, Nelapattu, Uppalapadu, Coringa and other bird sanctuaries. In Nelapattu, spoon billed storks, which are not sighted for more than two decades, were seen nesting with their younger ones this year,” said the CCF.
In Kolleru lake, altogether about 3 lakh birds, especially pelicans, open billed storks, painted storks and other species were found. Some rare species were also noticed. At Uppalapadu in Guntur district, more than 25,000 birds were counted in the census, Mr. Pandey said.
Eluru Divisional Forest Officer (DFO-Wildlife) C. Selvam said as many as 92 bird species were found in Kolleru, the largest freshwater lake in the country. In Coringa, 34,207 birds of 102 species were counted, of which 15 were globally near-threatened bird species, he said.
“We found peregrine falcon, oyster catcher and other uncommon waterbirds in Coringa sanctuary, and rare species such as great knot and Indian skimmer are also found in good numbers,” Mr. Selvam said.
Compared to the previous census, population of migratory birds was good in Krishna, Kolleru, Coringa and other sanctuaries. Besides, kingfishers, egrets, storks, ducks, cormorants and other waterbirds were counted in large numbers, the DFO said.
The CCF said that posters and special postal covers would be released jointly by the Forest Department and the India Post on protected wetlands – Pulikat, Krishna, Kolleru, Coringa and Nelapattu – on the occasion of World Wetland Day on Tuesday.
A webinar would be organised on conservation of wetlands, he added.