Decline in number of migratory birds

Nagapattinam, Jan 19 (PTI) There has been sharp decline inthe arrival of migratory birds in the Point Calimere(Kodiakarai) wildlife sanctuary this year, as per a cenus bythe district forest department, in coordination with researchbodies and college students.

The wildlife and birds sanctuary,normally serves as thepreferred destination for migratory birds from farawaycountries regularly.

However, the census revealed that there was nearly a 50 percent decline in the arrival of birds at the sanctuary comparedto the previous years, official sources said.

Last year nearly 3.35 lakh birds were spotted in thesanctuary area. However, the number was 50 per cent less thisyear, especially that of flamingoes and shore birds, thesources said.

The declines was suspected to be due to the high rainfallreceived in the region during the north-east monsoon season,as a result of which the lagoons in the area were overflowing.

Shore birds find it hard to catch their prey in overflowinglagoons.

Out of the total of 247 varieties of birds found to bevisiting the sanctuary regularly, this year only about 63species have arrived. Teals, Northern Pintails and Bar-headedGoose have arrived in large numbers. Several types of duckstoo were spotted in large numbers this year.

The migratory birds, from countries as far as Siberiaand other West Asian countries, visit the sanctuary duringOctober and stay up to March moving around freely in thesprawling 20 sqkm area of dry evergreen forests, the sourcessaid.

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