December 28, 2017 4:15:44 am
The Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) 2018 in Delhi region will start from January 6. Carried out simultaneously in 27 countries, it will take place in Delhi-NCR at sites, including the Okhla Bird Sanctuary, Surajpur Wetland and Najafgarh Drain. Ecologist T K Roy, AWC State Coordinator, Delhi, told The Indian Express that the AWC in India is carried out at a few hundred important wetlands and this helps in the identification and protection of new sites for birds.
The findings of the AWC in 2017, for instance, had revealed that bird population had doubled in Okhla — with a total of 6,183 birds counted at the Okhla Bird Sanctuary in the first day of the census. Roy added, “AWC 2018 for Delhi region will be carried out at important six wetlands — Okhla Bird Sanctuary, Surajpur Wetland, Najafgarh Drain and Jheel, River Yamuna, Sanjay Lake and National Zoological Park. It will have the participation of interested volunteers with conservation interest from Delhi and other states. The result of the census and further information is also used to promote national water bird and wetland conservation as well as international cooperation.”
Last year, six birds classified as “threatened”, as per the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list, were also spotted — Black-headed Ibis, Painted Stork, Oriental Darter, Common Pochard, Black-tailed Godwit and Greater Spotted Eagle. The AWC started in 1987, and many birders were initiated into bird counting and monitoring through this project. The AWC forms part of the global International Waterbird Census that marked the completion of its 50th count in 2017.
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