Two-day long Second waterfowl census done in KNP, large number of waterfowls recorded
Numaligarh: The two-day long 2nd waterfowl census at Kaziranga National Park concluded on Friday. The second wetland bird count, 2020 was conducted in the wetlands of Kaziranga National Park.
Eastern Assam wildlife division (KNP) DFO Ramesh Kr Gogoi stated that a total of 24 bird expert enumerators and 35 volunteers from various organizations conducted the census of water birds. The census was conducted at 41 different points, comprised of various water bodies inside the national park. As per data provided by the DFO, a total of 21 major water bodies of the national park were included in the survey.
In the survey, a total of 19,225 birds were counted in the national park, covering a total of 96 species belonging to 24 families. Out of the total of 19,225 counted birds, Bar-headed Geese belonging to the Anatidae family accounted for 6,181, followed by 1,557 numbers of Common Teal and 1,359 numbers of Northern Pintail, 1,233 numbers of Gadwall, 928 common coots, 825 lesser whistling ducks and others. The census counting also included other ducks and storks apart from waterfowl. According to experts, the results of the census are quite encouraging as the population of the water birds is showing a rising trend in the national park.
The first waterfowl census in the national park was conducted in 2018 from December 19 to December 20. In the census, a total of 10,412 birds were counted, covering a total of 80 species, belonging to 21 families.
Moreover, the sighting of a loner Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus) was also reported for the first time in a water body near Daflang under Bagori range of the national park. “But it did not appear during the census hours, so it will not be included in the census. However, we will keep an official record of presence and sighting of the Tundra swan,” a forest official stated.
Talking to The Sentinel, a bird expert said, “Tundra Swan breeds in arctic areas of Alaska, Canada, and Russia. This bird is a winter vagrant in India. During migration and in the winter, Tundra Swans prefer marshes, lakes, large rivers, and fields. They migrate in flocks that are usually comprised of family members. As per information, no previous sighting record of Tundra swan found in Assam.”
Talking to The Sentinel, DFO Ramesh Kr Gogoi said, “As per directions received from the Director of Kaziranga National Park, we also carried out the waterfowl survey at the areas under Baghmari forest camp for the first time after freeing the area of encroachers in 2015.”
“The results are very favourable. A total of 355 water birds belonging to various species and families were recorded in these previously encroached areas. After the eviction in 2015 we can say with our observation that the area is now gradually becoming the home of wild flora and fauna of the national park,” DFO Gogoi added.
In 2015, an eviction order was passed by Gauhati High Court to evict people living in and around Kaziranga. As per the order, eviction was carried out at places Banderdubi, Palkhowa and Deuchur Chang villages near Kaziranga National Park.