With drastic drop in bird population, waterbird census paints a grim picture of Dhanauri wetland


The Asian Waterbird Census -2021, which was held on Sunday, painted a grim image of Dhanauri wetland — solely seven Sarus cranes had been noticed suggesting a drastic drop within the general chicken inhabitants.

Satirically, the wetland – but to be recognised by the federal government as a wetland and awaiting safety for the a number of years – had been proposed to be declared as a Sarus crane sanctuary and a Ramsar web site or a wetland of worldwide importancein 2017 by the district forest division.

Positioned at Dankaur in Better Noida, the wetland sprawls over 101.21 hectares, of which about 33 hectares was beneath water, as per a distant sensing train in 2015. Nonetheless, as per this yr’s survey, the wetland has witnessed a greater than 4 occasions drop in its general chicken inhabitants since final yr, prompting ecologists to boost considerations.

On January 17, the waterbird census was performed within the Okhla Fowl Sanctuary, whereas Surajpur wetland noticed the census on January 2.

In accordance with the Asian Waterbird Census (AWC), 2021, held by Wetlands Worldwide South Asia and the Gautam Budh Nagar district forest division on Sunday, solely 48 species of water and water-dependent birds had been noticed. A complete of 1,344 birds —which included 20 resident species and 28 migratory species — had been noticed in the course of the day’s census. Final yr in January 2020, the primary ever AWC was held at Dhanauri and had discovered a complete of 6,227 waterbirds belonging to 59 species, of which 21 had been resident species and 38 had been migratory species.

The AWC-2021 recorded solely 4 species listed on the Purple Checklist of the Worldwide Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as threatened, towards 11 of final yr. The census additionally identified that the waterbody has shrunk and human intervention has led to heavy habitat loss.

“The scenario of Dhanuari could be very essential and speedy remedial actions are required to save lots of the habitat. In opposition to recognizing of 31 Sarus cranes final yr, we noticed solely seven this time. Sarus cranes are what Dhanauri is primarily well-known for. Aside from this, the lake has just about disappeared and solely a small marshland or pond stays. Remainder of the wetland space had been transformed for agricultural use. No matter water is left has additionally been largely coated by water hyacinth. The wetlands are quick shrinking with bigger dried space turning into grassland. There’s an open cattle grazing and human disturbance. It’s time that the wetland is protected earlier than it’s too late,” mentioned TK Roy, ecologist and conservationist, AWC.

He mentioned that the waterbirds are one of many key indicators of a wetland’s well being with quantity indicating that the wetland has sufficient feeding, resting, roosting and foraging spots.

Asserting that they’re conscious and anxious in regards to the deteriorating situation of Dhanauri wetland, the forest division officers acknowledged that the prime motive for the present situations was that the world was out of their jurisdiction. “We’ve initiated a means of recognising it. However that could be a tedious process because it requires a number of surveys adopted by land acquisition. In the meantime, we’ve written to officers involved within the authority to handle the world and in addition velocity up the method to accumulate land so we will declare it as a protected wetland,” mentioned PK Srivastava, divisional forest officer, GB Nagar.

In accordance with the AWC-2021, the foremost winter migratory species that flock from central, north Asia included Frequent Teal ( migrates from north Asia), Northern Shoveler ( migrates from north Asia), Northern Pintail (migrates from north Asia), Greylag Goose (migrates from Central Asia), Bar-headed Goose (migrates from Central Asia), Gadwall (migrates from north Asia), Mallard (migrates from Central Asia), Pied Avocet (migrates from temperate Central Asia).

The IUCN Purple-listed threatened species recorded within the wetland included Black-tailed Godwit, Painted Stork, Sarus Crane and Black-headed Ibis.

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