Dwindling Of Bird Population – Worrying Signs
Akkulam Lake with just 144 birds from 22 species had the lowest count | by Yentha
On Jan 14, 2015


Trivandrum: The Asian Waterfowl Census 2015 was held on Saturday in the different wetlands in and around the city. A total of 1,874 individual birds belonging to 49 species were spotted. The census has revealed a drastic fall in the water bird population of Thiruvananthapuram.

The highest count was from Punchakiri-Vellayani lake region. The Akkulam Lake with just 144 birds from 22 species had the lowest count. The census was held at Punchakiri-Vellayani, Akkulam Lake, Veli Lake and beach, Poovar Estuary and the Aruvikkara reservoir.

Shore birds like Greater Sand Plover, Lesser Sand Plover, Sanderling, Heuglin’s Gull and waders like Wood Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Pacific Golden Plover, Green Shank were some of the migratory birds sighted.

The heavy change in land use pattern and pollution is the main reason for the dwindling of bird population. The lesser counts at Punchakiri paddy fields and Vellayani Lake compared to previous years indicate loss of feeding grounds due to agriculture taking a back seat. The unprecedented heavy rain fall in the later months of 2014 has resulted in the rise of water level affecting the habitat of waders. This is another major reason for the low count.

A team comprising experts, Kerala Forest Department officials and volunteers were involved in the census. The teams were led by WWF Kerala Senior Education Officer A K Sivakumar, Hari Mavelikara, Neha Waikar, C G Arun, Jaichand Johnson, Anoop S S and Kiran R C.

The census was conducted jointly by WWF-India and Social Forestry Wing of Kerala Forests and Wildlife Department under the Green Partnership Programme.
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