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Nearly threatened and vulnerable bird species recorded during bird survey in TN

Chennai. Feb 15 (BPNS)

The recent bird surveys done in Tamil Nadu have thrown up the presence of several nearly threatened bird species as also birds that are categorized as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

These were the findings in the inland wetland survey conducted by the state wildlife department in the state of Tamil Nadu covering 339 wetlands of 25 districts. This comprised of 14 inland water bird sanctuaries including Vedanthangal.

The Chief Wild Life Warden of Tamil Nadu, Shekar Kumar Neeraj while speaking to IANS said, “ A synchronized survey is done to get a rough estimate about the population of both migratory and resident water birds and the findings have been astonishing with the presence of some bird species like River Tern and Common Pochard that are categorized as vulnerable by the IUCN.”

According to the enumerators and wildlife authorities of Tamil Nadu, the survey recorded the presence of near-threatened species like Spot-billed Pelican, Eurasian Spoonbill, Oriental Darter, Painted Stork, and Black-headed Ibis. These rare birds, according to the survey enumerators were seen in thousands with nestlings and the state wildlife department said that this was a good sign.

Chief Wild Life Warden of Tamil Nadu Shekar Kumar Neeraj while releasing the findings of the survey said that other than Tirunelveli the near-threatened Oriental Darter are seen in their maximum numbers from Koonthankulam, Vedathangal, and Vadavoor bird sanctuaries.

About 20 individual birds of Common Pochard have been recorded from a satellite wetland of Koonthankulam bird sanctuary. River Tern which is seen mostly at dam sites were recorded from the Anamalai  Tiger Reserve. These two species, Common Pochard and River Tern are notified as vulnerable species by the IUCN.

According to a statement by the Chief Wildlife Warden,  Koonthankulam bird sanctuary and its satellite wetlands attract about 2000 Bar-headed geese which is the highest number recorded in this census. The survey also said that the presence of Greater Flamingo was much less when compared to earlier years due to higher –water level conditions following incessant rains. This year, according to the statement only 150 Greater Flamingo birds were present while generally more than 2000 birds are seen.

The survey also said that the uncommon Comb Duck was seen in numbers around 700- 800 in the Koonthankulam tank and its surrounding wetlands.

Tirunelveli district recorded the highest number of waterbird species in Tamil Nadu during the recent survey conducted by the state wildlife department.

The survey team said that the largest number of birds that were recorded from the Tirunelveli district was Stock Billed Pelican and Painted Stork.