Decline in migratory birds at Mathura wetland - Hindustan Times
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Decline in migratory birds at Mathura wetland

Jan 24, 2024 10:21 PM IST

The census revealed that there was a fall both in number of species and total number of birds at this recently identified wetland in the border area of Agra and Mathura . The decline was attributed to global climate change impact, lesser monsoon rainfall and later winter.

Agra : Documentation during Wetlands International’s annual Asian Waterbird Census has revealed shortfall in number of species of migratory birds and their total number at Jodhpur Jhal, the 151-acre wetland in Mathura district .

Bar-headed geese. (Sourced)
Bar-headed geese. (Sourced)

The census revealed that there was a fall both in number of species and total number of birds at this recently identified wetland in the border area of Agra and Mathura . The decline was attributed to global climate change impact, lesser monsoon rainfall and later winter.

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A survey report of Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) at Jodhpur Jhal in Mathura recorded fewer waterbirds this year as compared to past years.

“Water birds are the key indicators of a wetland’s health and prevelant ecological conditions. A wetland provides roosting and foraging habitat for wetland birds. Global climate change, lesser rainfall often leave the wetland dried up, or lower the water level . A delayed winter slows down or delays migration of long distant migratory water birds,” said T K Roy, ecologist and ornithologist working as AWC Delhi state coordinator for Wetlands International South Asia. “In collaboration with Biodiversity Research & Development Society, Agra and in active participation of the PhD scholar volunteers from Dr B R Ambedkar University, Agra the fourth AWC 2024 was carried out at Jodhpur Jhal on January 16 by the AWC State Coordinator Delhi, Wetlands International South Asia (WISA),” said Roy.

There were 45 species this year at Jodhpur Jhal as compared to 54 species that landed in 2023 at this habitat . These 45 species included 19 resident species and 26 species from other parts of the continent and Europe. Last year, there were 22 resident species and 32 species from outside the country, said Roy.

“However, there was a fall in the number of migratory birds reaching this water ody. When compared to 1,758 waterbirds arriving in 2023, there were only 932 waterbirds this year,” highlighted Roy, who led the survey at Soor Sarovar on January 16.

Roy opined that the water level at Jodhpur Jhal was also low , which lessened the number of birds which swim, but number of birds walking on water surface remained steady this year.

Wetlands International’s annual ‘Asian Waterbird Census’ helped promote designation and management of internationally important sites such as nationally protected areas, Ramsar Sites and Sites, claimed the ecologist.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Hemendra Chaturvedi is based in Agra serving as a Principal Correspondent, covering districts of Agra and Aligarh division of western Uttar Pradesh. He has been with HT since 1992 and has completed 25 year of association with HT.

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