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Bird count:The census will cover at least two dozens sites, including Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary.file photo  

The two-day Asian Waterbird Census-2020 commenced in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday under the aegis of experts from the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), covering at least two dozen sites, including Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, Kolleru Lake and Krishna Sanctuary.

BNHS Assistant Director P. Sathiyaselvam, S. Siva Kumar and BNHS Andhra Pradesh coordinator K. Mrutyunjaya Rao trained amateur birdwatchers on Tuesday on technical aspects of the bird census and challenges, enabling them to conduct the task on their own.

Avian diversity

Dr. Sathiyaselvam, who had previously explored the avian diversity in the Godavari estuary, has presented a demonstration on the 90 species of birds sighted in the Godavari estuary and finalised 12 sites being covered in the census.

“There is a need of more birdwatchers in the State, as their critical inputs on the wetlands and waterbirds will help design the conservation plans of the respective sites in future,” said Dr. Sathiyaselvam.

On the endangered Indian Skimmer, Dr. Sathiyaselvam admitted that more study was still required to establish that the species breeds on the Kakinada coast, which supports a great number of Indian Skimmer.

In Godavari estuary, the Kumbabhisekham mudflat, the wetland opposite the Coromandel industrial area and other Important Bird Areas (IBAs) are being covered.

The birdwatchers from Visakhapatnam, Rajamahendravaram and Kakinada have been roped into the census in the Godavari estuary.

In Kolleru Lake and Krishna sanctuaries, the forest department employees are conducting the census. In-Charge Ranger (Wildlife-Kakinada) Sunil Kumar was present.

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