An assessment of bird communities across Ujjani and its five satellite wetlands in Solapur District of Maharashtra, India

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Shraddha Prabhakar Karikar
Subhash Vitthal Mali
Kulkarni Prasad
Aphale Priti


Ujjani wetland is a potential Ramsar site in Maharashtra, India with several satellite wetlands associated with it.  The present study contributes to single large or several small habitat conservation theories by assessing wetland bird communities.  Aquatic bird communities were assessed using area search and point count methods at Kumbhargaon (Ujjani), Bhadalwadi, Madanwadi, Palasdev, Pimple and Ravangaon wetlands between October 2011 and September2012.  These are representative satellite wetlands around Ujjani.  One-hundred-and-ten species of wetland birds across 12 orders and 29 families were recorded.  Out of these, 66 were resident and 44 were found to be migrants.  These birds represent 23% mudflat feeder, 16% upland feeder, 14% marsh feeder, 12% bird of prey, 11% surface feeder and fish eaters, while divers and wet meadow feeders were represented with 8.5% and 5% of the species, respectively.  Among the birds recorded, Woolly-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus, Common Pochard Aythya farina, and Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga belong to the Vulnerable category; while Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata, Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster, Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa, Black-headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus, Lesser Flamingo Phoeniconaias minor, Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala, River Tern Sterna aurantia, and Great Thick-knee Esacus recurvirostris represent Near Threatened category on the IUCN Red List.  The presence of these bird species underlines the importance and conservation priorities of a major as well as smaller satellite wetlands.  Anthropogenic activities such as cattle grazing, fishing, sand and soil mining, land encroachment, urban development and tourism were observed as some of the threats to this wetland ecosystem as well as bird communities.


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