Guwahati, February 9: The number of birds at the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNP&TR) has increased by 175 percent from a total count of 34,284 recorded last year to 93,491 this year, according to the third annual waterfowl census conducted at the wildlife park.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (wildlife) Amit Sahai declared the results of the census today.
The major objective of the exercise was to record and estimate waterfowls and winter migratory birds at the park and to monitor and assess the health of wetlands.
“As many as 112 species of birds belonging to 22 families were counted during the two-day census conducted over the weekend. The highest number of species (26) are from the family Anatidae, which is the family of ducks and geese,” an official statement issued today said.
The top three species counted by number are Eurasian Coot, Bar-headed Geese and Common Teal.
“Of the 112 waterfowl species found in Kaziranga, 58 are migratory species visiting Kaziranga from different parts of the world, including Europe, Central Asia and East Asia,” the statement said.
“Fifty-two wetlands across Kaziranga Tiger Reserve were identified for the census and 36 seasoned birders were involved in the exercise as enumerators,” the statement said.
Counting of birds was carried out by the enumerators from 6am to 4pm on Saturday while the data collated during the exercise was compiled on Sunday.
“The maximum increase in the number of birds was witnessed at Laokhowa-Burhachapori Wildlife Sanctuary where the number of birds increased from 9,244 to 71, 902,” it said.
Official sources said that the rise in the number of birds visiting Kaziranga could be attributed to the improved habitat management and water conservation measures carried out by the Kaziranga Tiger Reserve authorities.
The first annual waterfowl census at the park in 2018 had recorded a count of 10,412 birds.