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Anthropogenic threats to wetland ecosystems, including discharge of industrial effluents, municipal sewerage, land reclamation, erosion and deforestation, have contributed to the rapid declines in populations of many bird species. The present study aimed to document avian diversity, including birds on the IUCN Red List, at Nangal Wetland, Punjab from February 2013 to January 2015. A total of 155 species belonging to 48 families (resident and migratory) under 17 orders were recorded, of which 13 come under various IUCN Red List categories: one ‘Endangered’—Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus; five ‘Vulnerable’—Common Pochard Aythya ferina, Greater-Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga, Sarus Crane Grus antigone, Lesser White-Fronted Goose Anser erythropus, and Woolly-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus; and seven ‘Near Threatened’—Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca, River Lapwing Vanellus duvaucelii, Indian River Tern Sterna aurantia, Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala, Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster, Blossom-headed Parakeet Psittacula roseata, and Alexandrine Parakeet Psittacula eupatria. The Shannon-Weaver index of diversity was highest during winter (H’= 1.9) followed by autumn (H’= 1.9) then spring (H’= 1.5), and was lowest during summer (H’= 1.4). Though this wetland is highly productive and provides homes to many threatened species, untreated industrial effluents from adjoining areas sometimes create problems. The discharge of pollutants should be stopped through strict enforcement of environmental laws and policies.
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