Maiden waterbird census conducted in state; 38 species identified

ITANAGAR, 21 Feb: The Arunachal Pradesh Biodiversity Board recently conducted the first Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) in the state, which is being undertaken in the country by the National Biodiversity Authority, in collaboration with the Wetlands International South Asia and the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).

Thirty-eight waterbird species with a population count of 219 were recorded in the three-day exercise.

The waterbird census, 2022 was carried out at the Daying Ering Wildlife Sanctuary in Borguli, Pilomukh and Jeepghat by the DFO of the protected area, in association with volunteers from the Eco-development Committee and the BNHS. RGU’s Zoology Department Professor Dr Daniel Mize and RGU’s wildlife & biodiversity unit research scholar Tapak Tamir also participated in the exercise.

Earlier, census was also carried out in three wetlands – Smarten, Gochhon Hii and Wagrong – by the members of the Biodiversity Management Committee, Shergaon, with support from the DFO of the Shergaon forest division, and in Swkhe Lake, Ziro, by members of the Biodiversity Management Committee Hong (Niiti) and the Arunachal Pradesh Birding Club, along with field staff of the Hapoli forest division DFO.

The participants and volunteers were trained for the exercise through virtual sessions. Apart from the bird species’ diversity and numbers, information will also be provided on the wetland condition, and uses and threats.

The AWC is part of the International Waterbird Census, which is a site-based counting scheme for monitoring the waterbird numbers, size of waterbird populations, identifying wetlands of international importance and providing information to assist in protection and management of waterbird populations.