How important are migratory birds in an era of climate change

As many as 1,349 species of birds have been recorded as of 2019, of which 78 are endemic to the nation and 212 species are globally threatened 

Migratory birds are seasonal visitors with optimistic impacts. Birds from 29 international locations fly to India yearly. The nation witnesses incoming of enormous flocks throughout September-October signifying the start of migration.

As many as 1,349 species of birds have been recorded as of 2019, of which 78 are endemic to the nation and 212 species are globally threatened, based on the Authorities of India. 

Migratory birds require nesting locations and adequate meals for profitable broods. Accelerated habitat loss over the past decade, together with decreased space below water our bodies, wetlands, pure grasslands and forests, have proved to be main impediments for them.

Overexploitation, unsustainable use of pure useful resource, inhabitants explosion together with elevated climate variabilities and local weather change has resulted in lack of biodiversity.  

These elements have additionally adversely impacted the whole life cycle and survival of migratory birds. New approaches are wanted to stop the ill-effects and altered migration patterns of birds.

Migratory chook species are recognized to be indicators for the flyway area, as they use completely different biomes and habitats and face completely different pressures alongside the migration route. The Central Asian Flyway covers 30 international locations, together with India, on the tail finish with large landmass and habitat variations, particularly the wetlands.

As daylight shrinks and meals provide dwindles on the breeding websites, the birds take the cue and begin migrating in direction of wintering websites within the South. The return journey begins in March or April.

Migration can also be an adaptation mechanism to assist birds overcome climate adversities and unavailability of meals in colder areas. The significance of chook migrations on the well being of the ecosystems is well-established.

Birds usually migrate to and from particular websites and therefore, sure areas turn out to be recognized with sure species. Pallikaranai in Chennai attracts numerous flamingoes, geese and waders.

Canadian Geese

Pulicat Lake on the Tamil Nadu-Andhra border hosts flamingoes; geese and waders might be seen in Chilika lagoon in Odisha. Different notable websites to see migratory birds are the Keoladeo Nationwide Park in Bharatpur in Rajasthan and Khijadia Chicken Sanctuary in Jamnagar in Gujarat.

Some birds are passage migrants, just like the noticed flycatcher, rufous-tailed scrub robin and European curler. They migrate via a big a part of western India and over winter in Africa. Amur Falcons go via India in December. Many birds arrive from temperate areas; the Siberian Cranes come to India in winter. 

Significance of migratory birds

Migratory birds play a number of important and indispensable roles within the ecosystems they reside in and journey via. Such birds elevating broods find yourself performing as pest management brokers by devouring bugs and different organisms that hurt the surroundings and crops.

Locust assault is one such catastrophe that stems from that absence of birds. Migratory birds assist in dispersal of seeds, resulting in upkeep of biodiversity alongside their routes.

Geese can transport fish eggs of their guts to new water our bodies. The droppings of birds, also called guano, are wealthy in nitrogen and act as natural fertilizers. Egg shells can add calcium and different minerals.

Migratory birds type each prey and predator bases in ecosystems seasonally and might, due to this fact, have an ecological affect. Prevalence of migratory birds helps analyse the state of surroundings in an space.


In a number of elements of the world the place they journey via or are resident, their eggs are poached and hunted down. Locals unaware of the advantages supplied by migratory birds usually bask in conduct hostile to survival of birds. Prosperous folks bask in chook poaching to please their palate with out giving any consideration to environmental penalties.

Lack of one mate may end up in the demise of the opposite and lack of the brood on account of hunger affecting a whole household of birds and future generations.  

Together with lack of water our bodies and wild habitats, the dwindling of minor habitats within the vicinities of cities and villages, the place smaller flocks usually take refuge, is a significant concern.

At Mallijharan, Kashipur in Odidha’s Rayagada district.

Rising illumination at night time adversely impacts migration by complicated the birds. Degradation of the surroundings and elevated pollutant ranges jeopardise the life cycle and migration of birds. Heavy air pollution of water our bodies and presence of enormous quantities of pesticides results in improper hatching and the lack of broods.

Birds can endure from the consequences of repeatedly feeding on fish and bugs which have elevated ranges of heavy metals and toxins. Attributable to growing encroachment and human interferences, elevated fishing the provision of meals turns into a problem and birds can die of hunger. 

Potential interventions 

  • Lengthy-term monitoring programmes to evaluate the migration traits in birds, illnesses monitoring and enumeration
  • Educating faculty youngsters, youth and the general public on the significance of chook migrations and their impacts. Searching for native help for nesting and conservation of migratory birds
  • Fishing exercise to be minimised / deserted / banned within the estuaries, rivers and water our bodies throughout the migration season
  • Adoption of sustainable natural agriculture practices by farmers to make sure chemical free water our bodies and pesticide free prey base
  • Individuals want to make sure sustainable use of landscapes and ecosystem providers, which might help the migratory chook’s web site, species and their inhabitants
  • Conservation of wetlands, grasslands, pure habitats and forests with native species to assist birds roost and construct their nests
  • Banning single use plastics and avoiding dumping of single use plastics in water our bodies
  • Particular guidelines, rules, acts and treaties amongst nations and strict adherence to help conservation of migratory birds
  • Trendy applied sciences like drones can be utilized to trace poachers in areas the place birds converge
  • Minimising night time lights alongside the migration paths
  • Selling eco-clubs and residents initiatives for consciousness, conservation and safety of migratory birds and their pure habitats

Views expressed are the writer’s personal and don’t essentially replicate these of Down To Earth

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