Population trends and community composition of migratory waterbirds in three emerging wetlands of global significance in southwestern Bengal, India

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T. N. Khan
Anirban Sinha
Prantik Hazra


We studied the diversity, abundance and population trends in three flourishing wetlands of southern Bengal over 16 years.  These wetlands constituted a major shift from the present scenario of overall wetland deterioration, including monotonous declines in important winter visitors prevailing in surrounding wetlands, especially in Tilpara Reservoir and Purulia Saheb Bandh Lake.  All the three wetlands support rich waterbird diversity and almost all of them tend to exhibit consistently stable or increasing trends in their populations during the course of the study.  The waterbird communities did not differ greatly during the study period and were tending to arrive at their equilibria.  These wetlands consistently support strong waterbird food-bases, which may support rich diversity.  Since, they have already been supporting increasing or stable populations of a majority of the important waterbird species they are expected to emerge as important waterbird abodes in northeastern India very soon, provided we keep them undisturbed and allow them to follow their own course.


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Author Biographies

T. N. Khan, Ecology and Wildlife Biology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, Maulana Azad College, 8 Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road, Kolkata, West Bengal 700013, India

T.N. Khan worked as the supervisor and Principal Investigator of South Bengal Waterbird Project and was an Associate Professor in the Department of Zoology, Maulana Azad College, Kolkata, and presently is continuing research as a Guest Faculty in the same Department. 


Anirban Sinha, Ecology and Wildlife Biology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, Maulana Azad College, 8 Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road, Kolkata, West Bengal 700013, India

Anirban Sinha worked as a CSIR Research Fellow in the project and is presently continuing research on waterbirds at the Department of Zoology, Maulana Azad College, Kolkata.


Prantik Hazra, Ecology and Wildlife Biology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, Maulana Azad College, 8 Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road, Kolkata, West Bengal 700013, India

Prantik Hazra worked as a UGC Research Fellow in the project and is continuing research in the same Department. Presently he is and Assistant Professor of Zoology in West Bengal Educational Service.



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