Noida: The Asia Waterbird Census (AWC) carried out in Dhanauri Wetland on Tuesday recorded a total of 2,459 birds and 40 species. According to the figures, when compared with 2021, the number of birds has seen a hike but a decline in species.
During the census, several volunteers teamed up with the forest department officials for an early morning bird count. As per figures gathered from AWC, the count was of 20 species of resident birds and 20 species of winter migratory birds. This count included five red-listed threatened species according to the International Union For Conservation of Nature, namely. Common Pochard, Black-necked Stork, Wooly-necked Stork, Sarus Crane, and Black-headed Ibis.
The bird's number goes up and down every year depending upon a number of related factors such as weather events, amount of rains, and conditions of the habitat. Earlier, in 2021, the AWC recorded 1,344 birds of 48 species, including 20 species of resident birds, 28 species of winter migratory birds, and four species of threatened birds.
Bird watchers believe that if Dhanauri was a protected wetland, the numbers might have been higher. The Dhanauri wetland has a lot of unresolved issues, which affect the presence of birds.
TK Roy, Delhi state coordinator of AWC says, “Dhanauri Wetland is a potential site for birds. But unfortunately, it’s not declared a wetland. Due to late rainfall this year, the wetland has revived to some extent. However, it dries up before summer due to lack of independent water source”.
Narinder Kohli, a Wildlife photographer and a frequent bird watcher of Dhanauri Wetland says, “As compared to last year, the number of birds has increased but not the number of species. However, when you are doing the comparison statistically, simply comparing the numbers with last year is not enough. It should be done over 3-5 years. This year's figure should be compared with that of figures of 2018-19-20 likewise. Then you can do a better comparative analysis to give the feedback for the same. "
He further explains, "The reason behind the increase in numbers this year is that last year was a bad year: there was a poor monsoon and it was very hot. There was less water so very few birds came, which impacted the figures. But this year the monsoon has been good. The only challenge is that the pond is covered with hyacinths from all sides. If you compare the figure with 2020 the numbers were pretty similar to this year's numbers.”
Mukund Kumar, another birder, says “The resident birds of Dhanauri are also fighting for survival. A few days ago only there was an incident where two Sarus Crane chicks died. It is important to protect the Dhanauri wetland to save the habitat for these birds”.