West Bengal Forest Dept documents 1,23,675 waterbirds in recent study

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Kolkata, Feb 3 (PTI) The West Bengal Forest department has documented 1,23,675 waterbirds in a recent study, a senior official said on Wednesday.

Chief Wildlife Warden V K Yadav told PTI on Wednesday the study was conducted from January 12 to February 2 this year in 54 different locations in West Bengal.

More than 65 species were documented during the exercise which involved more than 800 people including forest staff, NGOs and bird lovers, Yadav said.

The senior forest official said wetlands are extremely rich in biodiversity and waterbirds such as herons, egrets, swans, ducks and geese and waders use wetlands during the majority of their lifetime.

Yadav said water birds were recorded in 54 wetlands in just 3 weeks time which is a remarkable feat.

The recorded water birds include 7,110 at Gajaldoba, 1,476 in Gorumara National Park, 1,538 in Jaldapara National Park, 6,936 in Fulbari, 4,219 in Rasikbill, 10,173 in Bakreswar, 15,457 in Ballavpur, 6,020 in Purbasthali bird sanctuary, 5,651 in Santragachi jhil, 8,304 in Jambudwip, 9,574 in Sunderbans among others, he said, At least 12 per cent of all Globally Threatened Birds (146 species) depend on wetlands as the most important types of wetlands for these birds are lakes and pools, rivers and streams, bogs, marshes and swamps, and coastal lagoons, the forest department said in a statement issued on the World Wetlands Day on February 2.

Advocating the need to preserve waterbodies, the department said a waterbody provides the habitat to support one or more breeding pairs of waterfowl, supports the resting, feeding, staging or roosting habitat to waterfowl migration, provides a buffer for a nest site, supports one or more breeding pairs of any migratory bird that requires wetland habitat for breeding, nesting, rearing. PTI SUS RG RG