Fewer bird species spotted at Soor Sarovar this winter

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Agra The Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) 2022 at the Soor Sarovar Bird Sanctuary in Agra recorded lower waterbird species diversity this year, compared to previous years. There were only 60 waterfowl species recorded at this Ramsar site and 2,861 birds, including distant winter migrants, were recorded this year. This figure of 2861 included 28 resident species, 32 migratory species and 8 threatened species listed on the IUCN Red List.

In comparison, there were 70 species of waterfowl diversity in 2021 and the total number was 5,249, including 33 resident bird species, 37 migratory waterbird species and 9 threatened waterbird species on the IUCN Red List at Soor Sarovar Bird Sanctuary. in Agra.

“Waterbirds are one of the main indicators of wetland health and provide four types of ecological services. Wetlands provide feeding, roosting, roosting and foraging habitats for these charismatic species,” said TK Roy, ecologist, conservationist and state coordinator for the Bird Census of Asia Water (AWC), Wetlands International.

“In collaboration with the National Chambal Sanctuary Project, Uttar Pradesh Wildlife Department and the conservation support of Biodiversity Research & Development Society, Agra and with the active participation of volunteers from Dr BR Ambedkar University, Agra, Wildlife SOS, Agra and Wildlife Sanctuary staff, AWC 2022 was successfully carried out at the Soor Sarovar Bird Sanctuary Wetland on January 14,” Roy said.

“Due to the impact of global climate change, i.e. delayed winter, hence slow and delayed migration and less migration of winter migratory waterfowl (usually from the extreme Central Asia, North Asia including Russia and Siberia), smaller numbers of bird species were recorded this year compared to previous years almost everywhere in northern India,” did he declare.

“In line with the impact of global climate change this year, winter has been delayed and as a result, migration has been slow and less in almost all of northern India. Also, due to a monsoon late but good, several drained wetlands have been revived and migratory waterfowl have spread widely to better wetlands.As a result, some of the more important wetlands have lower species diversity and total migratory population, including including Soor Sarovar,” Roy informed.

This time the species diversity has partially decreased from 70 to 60 here and the population has decreased from 5249 to 2861 compared to 2021.

Roy informed that Wetlands International’s largest annual waterbird census, Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) 2022 started on January 1 in Asia and Australasia simultaneously and ended on January 16.

Soor Sarovar Wildlife Sanctuary is a unique waterfowl wetland located on the bank of Yamuna River in Agra district. It is one of the 467 IBA (Important Bird & Biodiversity Area) sites in India having rich bird diversity especially for winter migratory waterfowl for congregation, resting and good nesting/breeding habitat.

A total of 442 pelicans (great white pelican and Dalmatian pelican) were recorded this year at Soor Sarovar Wildlife Sanctuary and this number was the highest after many years, even more than any protected area in northern India , including the UNESCO site of Keoladeo Ghana National Park.


  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Hemendra Chaturvedi is based in Agra as a Senior Correspondent, covering Agra Districts and Aligarh Division in Western Uttar Pradesh. He has been with HT since 1992 and has completed 25 years of association with HT.
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