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We conducted five yearly field surveys to assess long-term changes in the species richness, abundance, and composition of waterfowl populations (Anseriformes) in the D’Ering Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary, a significant staging area on migratory flyways with one of the largest concentrations of waterfowl in Arunachal Pradesh, especially during winter. A total of 8,040 birds belonging to 17 species of Anatidae were recorded, including two threatened species. The most abundant species were Tadorna ferruginea, Anas poecilirhnycha, and Bucephala clangula, with relative abundances of 29%, 10%, and 9.4%, respectively. Species richness was highest in winter (H’= 2.40; January H’= 2.43) and lowest in the monsoon (H’= 1.48; August, H’= 1.12). Seasonal difference in species richness was noticed for winter visitors, but not for year-round residents. We observed a major declining trend for seven species. Findings from this study can be used for further ecological assessment of the waterfowl community of the sanctuary.
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