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Located in the Trans-Gangetic Plains of India, Kurukshetra is dotted with a number of man-made, perennial, sacred ponds of great historical and religious importance.Â These wetlands also serve as important wintering and stopover sites for birds coming from the Palearctic region.Â Surveys were conducted from April 2014 to March 2015 to recordthe diversity and status of avifauna in four sacred ponds of Kurukshetra. Point counts and direct observations were used to record the bird species.Â A total of 126 bird species of 98 genera belonging to 45 families and 16 orders were identified, of which 41 were winter migrants, six were summer migrants, and 79 were residents.Â Anatidae (n=15) was the most common family, followed by Ardeidae (n=8), and Motacillidae and Muscicapidae (n=7 each).Â Based on the guilds, 37 species were carnivorous, 36 omnivorous, 29 insectivorous, six herbivorous, six frugivorous, five granivorous, four insectivorous/nectarivorous, and three piscivorous.Â Of the species recorded, five species are classified as Near Threatened and one species as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species; nine species are listed in Appendix II of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and six species are included in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.Â We hope that this study will provide a baseline for future research on monitoring the population and seasonal changes in the bird assemblageof sacred ponds.Â
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