Mahanadi bird population took a hit due to Cyclone Fani, says study

News:A recent study has found that the impact of super cyclonic storm Fani had affected the bird populations along Mahanadi River.


Key takeaways from the study:

  • The population of sandbar-nesting birds along a 40-km stretch along the Mahanadi river has declined by 81% .
  • The study also found that the population of the birds a day before the cyclone was about 800 which has dropped to 153 after the cyclone.
  • The highest decline was observed in the case of Glareola lactea (little pratincole) whose population dropped from over 500 to 50 before and after the cyclone.

Other species on which the study was conducted:The study was also conducted on the following species along Mahanadi River Delta:

  • Rynchops albicollis (Indian skimmer) listed as Vulnerable under IUCN
  • Sterna aurantia (river tern) listed as Near Threatened under IUCN 
  • Vanellus duvaucelii (river lapwing) listed as Near Threatened under IUCN 
  • Esacus recurvirostris (great thick-knee) listed as Near Threatened under IUCN Red list.

Additional information:

About Mahanadi River:

  • The Mahanadi River is a river of eastern India.The river is one of the largest Indian peninsular rivers that drains into the Bay of Bengal. 
  • The river is 858 Kilometers long and flows through the states of Chhattisgarh and Odisha.
  • The river originates from the highlands of Chhattisgarh through collection of an array of streams and reaches Bay of Bengal.
  • Hirakud Dam is built across the Mahanadi River about 15 kilometres from Sambalpur in the state of Odisha in India.

About Glareola lactea(little pratincole):

  • The little pratincole or small Indian pratincole (Glareola lactea) is a small wader bird in the pratincole family, Glareolidae.
  • The bird is found in India, Western Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma, Laos, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. 
  • It breeds from December to March on gravel or sand banks near rivers and lakes laying 2-4 eggs in a ground scrape.
  • The bird is listed as Least Concern(LC) under the IUCN Red list.