29 Janauary 2022.
Andhra Pradesh State Forest Department has approached experts from Wildlife Institute of India (WII-Deharadun), Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) and Zoological Survey of India (ZSI-Kolkata), for preventing mass mortality of spot-billed pelicans in Naupada swamp at Telineelapuram, Srikakulam district.
- Telineelapuram is a designated Important Bird Area (IBA), where pelicans have been succumbing to ‘Nematode infestation’ since December 2021.
- It is also home to painted stork. However, Stork has not been infected with Nematode infestation so far.
What is the issue?
- At least five spot-billed pelicans are dying every day, on an average, at Telineelapuram.
- Total death toll has crossed 160.
- 180 more adult species are surviving along with their chicks. They are expected to be homebound by mid-Summer.
- The spot-billed pelicans or grey pelican are scientifically called as Pelecanus philippensis.
- They are a member of pelican family.
- The species breed in South Asia from southern Iran to east India to Indonesia.
- The bird lives in coastal waters and large inland, especially large lakes. Breeding population of these species is limited to India, Cambodia and Sri Lanka.
- In non-breeding season they are recorded in Myanmar, Nepal, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.
- IUCN red list has listed the species in Near Threatened list.
- While in Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, it is a Schedule IV species.
- Thus, it’s hunting is prohibited but penalty for any violation is less.
- Pelicans are a genus of large water birds.
- They make up the family Pelecanidae.
- The birds are characterized by a long beak and large throat pouch, which they use to catch prey and drain water from scooped-up contents before swallowing.
- There are eight living pelican species across the globe.
- They are distributed latitudinally from tropics to the temperate zone.
- Naupada is a village in Santha Bommali mandal of Srikakulam district.
- It is located near palasa town in Andhra Pradesh.
- The village is famous for salt fields and is known as “Salt Bowl of Andhra Pradesh”.
- It is also known for its railway junction station.