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| Last Updated:22/11/2018

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More waterbirds spotted in Delhi

NEW DELHI: The Asian Waterbird Census has thrown up happy surprises this time. Not only the number of wetland birds spotted in Delhi during the census has increased marginally, but their diversity has also gone up quite a bit compared to previous years. 

For instance, Pied Avocet, a black and white coloured wader, is usually not seen in Delhi but the census team spotted about 23 of them. They also spotted eight River Lapwings, a threatened species. 

The species spotted most is Black-winged Stilt. The team found 207 of them at various wetlands compared to 77 last year. "We are seeing a lot of birds which we usually don't see in Delhi. The diversity of birds has improved. This could also be because birds have moved from Okhla sanctuary to other wetlands upstream," said AWC's Delhi state coordinator TK Roy. In October, UP government had withdrawn a lot of water from 
Okhla wetland for maintenance work at the barrage which, according to Roy, may have disrupted their habitat. 

A team of 16 volunteers had covered three wetlands in Delhi—Okhla bird sanctuary, 
Najafgarh drain basin and Yamuna for the census on January 11-26. "We documented 23 species and about 439 birds during this census. Diversity was best at Najafgarh drain basin. Most sightings happened upstream of Yamuna because the water is comparatively cleaner there. The census this year shows that if wetlands can be revived, Delhi will have good wetland bird diversity," added Roy. Most birds were spotted between Wazirabad barrage and Nizamuddin bridge

The Times of India (10-02-2014)