February 16, 2019
A total of 134 bird species have been recorded during the Asian Waterbird Census in and around Coimbatore wetlands and the total bird count (bird population) was estimated to be at 6276
The Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) is part of the global International Waterbird Census (IWC). This citizen-science programme is aimed at supporting conservation and management of wetlands and waterbirds worldwide.
This information obtained through this census, helps promote the designation and management of internationally important sites such as nationally protected areas. It also helps in identifying and protecting new sites of importance for waterbirds. The result of the census and information is also imperative to promote national water-bird and wetland conservation.
Twenty seven wetlands in and around Coimbatore have been surveyed in the exercise in two weeks with 20 participants taking part in the exercise. The exercise was done in the mornings when birds are mostly active.
The number of wetlands covered is up from previous years highest of 22, and the teams were led by and include Selvaraj PR, Prakash G, Balaji PB, Gaja Mohanraj D, Sahithya Selvaraj, Sathish K, Thirumoorthy NV, Gandhi Kumar and Srinivas Rav among others.
Among the 134-bird species recorded, 99 of them are resident and the remaining 35 migrants. On the bird count, 4430 birds were resident in nature and 1846 birds were migrants. The break up between water birds and other land birds seen around the wetland is 2845 and 3431 respectively.
The citizen-science team recorded that Vellalore, Sulur, Achankulam, Krishnampathy, Kolarampathy wetlands assume significance and in the wake of these provide suitable breeding habitats for the following birds – Pelicans, Herons and Egrets, Swamphens and Coots, Ducks such as Lesser Whistling and Spot-billed.
Achankulam was earlier attracting migrants in good numbers but now Krishnampathy lake seems to be doing the same with respect to migrants and rare bird sightings. These wetlands need special protection due to birds breeding, the team stated.