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Avifauna of Ankodiya Village Pond,Vadodara District, Gujarat

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There are 1,561 villages in Vadodara district and usually each village has at least one pond. Ankodiya is one of the traditional villages of this district in Vadodara taluka. Our baseline study using point count method revealed that Ankodiya village pond supports several species of resident and migratory birds and other fauna. A total of 50 species of birds were recorded that belonged to 28 families. The study demonstrated significance of even a small village pond of Gujarat in supporting avian and other type of fauna.
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Vol.7, No.1. March 2017
World Wetlands Day-2017 &
World Wildlife Day-2017 Special
Wetlands for Disaster
Risk Reduction
(a theme of the World
Wetlands Day-2017)
ISSN 2321-1881
Listen to the Young Voices!
(a theme of the World
Wildlife Day-2017)
Page No.
Editorial
Dr. Ketan Tatu…………………………..………………..…...3
Reflections
Dr. Pranav Trivedi…………….…………………....................5
Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction
Dr. Ritesh Kumar…………………………….…………………7
Gosa Bara-Mokarsagar Wetland Complex as
a Flood Regulator
Dhaval Vargiya…………………………………………...….….11
Jalaplavit’s
Wetland Guru
conducts a Wetland
Techniques Workshop at Nal Sarovar, India
Dr. James T. Anderson…………………………..………..15
A Limnological Study for Habitat Assessment
For Endangered Gangetic Dolphin (
Platanista
gangetica gangetica)
in Kulsi River, Assam
Shah Nawaz Jelil & Pranjal Mahananda……………........19
A Pioneering Survey of Waders and Seabirds in
Modhava Coastal Area, Kachchh District, Gujarat
State, India
Akshit R. Suthar & Dilipsinh Chudasama……...............26
Avifauna of Ankodiya Village Pond,Vadodara
District, Gujarat
Dhara R. Shah, Ishani B. Patel & Jagruti. Y. Rathod…...41
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881) Vol. 7, No. 1, March 2017
(World Wetlands Day &World Wildlife Day Special)
A Special Issue to mark
World Wetlands Day-2017 &
World Wildlife Day-2017.
Founder Editor
Dr. Ketan Tatu
Associate Editor
Dr. Amita Tatu
Copy Editor
Kandarp Kathju
Expert Core Team
Principal Technical Advisor:
Prof. James T. Anderson (USA)
Advisor
Dr. Pranav Trivedi
Foundation Layout & Design:
Pugmark Qmulus Consortium
Design for the present issue
Ketan Tatu
Cover Photo: Avicahl Tatu
Photographs in this issue are by:
Avichal Tatu, Dhaval Vargiya,
Dilipsinh Chudasama, Ketan Tatu
Jalaplavit’s Editorial/Core Team does not necessarily agree
with the views/information provided by authors. Editorial/Core
team is not responsible for any intentional/unintentional
plagiarism by authors.
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
3
“Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction
But What about Man for Wetland Risk Reduction”?
On 2-2-2017, the World
Wetlands Day-2017 was celebrated all
over the world with the focus on the
Ramsar’s global theme for
2017“Wetlands for Disaster Risk
Reduction”. What are those disasters
whose risks our wetlands reduce and
how do they do it? Well, Millennium
Ecosystem Assessment has recognized
the significant role that wetlands play
for human societies in regulating the
gravity and rate of occurrence of
disastrous phenomena such as floods. It
has also acknowledged their value in
providing natural barriers that can
mitigate the adverse impacts of land
erosion, dust and sand storms, tidal
surges, tsunamis and landslides, fires
and droughts and protect communities.
Unfortunately, the Millennium
Ecosystem Assessment has also
recognized that there has been a
continuing and accelerated loss of these
vital ecosystems called wetlands. And,
there is no need to mention separately
that principally man is responsible for
accelerated wetland loss.
So, I earnestly feel (and would
like to share my feeling with you too)
EDITORIAL Ketan Tatu (Founder Editor)
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
4
that it is nice that global theme for the
World Wetlands Day-2017 is “Wetlands
for Disaster Risk Reduction”! It would
certainly create and re-affirm the
importance of wetlands as buffers
against the floods or other calamities in
the minds of people. But don’t we also
need a global theme to be implemented
in near future- Man for Wetland Risk
Reduction? Equipped with tremendous
scientific and technological capabilities,
adaptability to the changing
circumstances, Sustainable Development
Goals etc., man certainly has potential to
reduce the man-induced or natural risks
to these fertile and productive
ecosystems. However, even today, man’s
efforts to reduce risks to wetlands are
far from being satisfactory. Are we
making sufficient efforts for reducing
risks of encroachment of shores or
basins of suburban wetlands in the
name of modern development’? Are we
constantly striving to see that no
affluent farmer or a village level
authority poses risk to country-side rural
ponds owing to the tendency to fill
them up to quench their thirst for more
and more cultivable lands? Are we
making sure that rural ponds are not at
risk of getting over-deepened and
losing their value as habitats of surface-
feeding ducks and emergent
hydrophytes? Are we vigilant enough to
prevent any industrial unit risking a
lake/pond, river or sea by its untreated
effluents? Are we seriously working to
stop degradation of our mangroves and
coral due to human economic
ambitions? I am afraid, the answers to
all these questions will be No’. Anyways,
this issue has some articles revolving
around the theme of World Wetlands
Day-2017-“Wetlands for Disaster Risk
Reduction”.
Many wetlands are excellent
wilderness areas. They offer rich wildlife-
experience. But, the wildlife of wetlands,
like that of many other ecosystems is at
risk. Many species of waterbirds and
other wetland-animals are under threat
as per IUCN Red List of Threatened
Species or Schedules (I-IV) of Wildlife
(Protection) Act, 1972. Let’s have a
pledge “to Do One Thing for (Wetland)
Wildlife of the World”! Considering the
theme of World Wildlife Day (WWD, 3rd
March) declared by UN Environment for
the year 2017(ie., “Listen to the Young
Voices”), this issue of “Jalaplavit” has
incorporated articles by few young
authors!.
Happy Reading……!
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
5
Pranav Trivedi
tpranav70@gmail.com
The Neglected Saviours
F
or a moment, just imagine how
it would feel if the Earth was flat. You’ll
agree that it would indeed be very boring
and monotonous. The relief features of
our Earth i.e. elevations and depressions
not only make our planet more
interesting, but highly inhabitable! Yes,
because many of the depressions
gradually turned into some kind of water
bodies during the course of Earth’s
life.These water bodies such as seas and
oceans, rivers and lakes, ponds and
marshes of present day only represent the
erstwhile depressions! And other
depressions such as valleys are the
pathways for rivers and streams
supporting civilisations of the past and
present both. Though mountains are their
source, in a sense, these very depressions
sustain life on Earth! All these wetlands
occupying the various sized and shaped
depressions play a crucial role of allowing
water to settle and be soaked that helps
prevent flooding of low-lying or plain
terrain. In our urban areas, much of the
K Tatu
REFLECTIONS…
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
6
flooding today is blamed on poor sewer
system; yet a more fundamental cause is
disappearance of wetlands to urbanisation
as has been observed in Ahmedabad,
Bangalore and many other Indian cities.A
majority of the ponds in rural areas are
also going the slow but sure way of
demise much like the urban wetlands.
However small a depressions it may be, its
role as sink for water cannot be
underestimated.
If the urban wetlands are our
protectors from floods, the coastal-marine
wetlands such as mangroves and coral
reefs are guardians of the shore. Like
huge sponges, these absorb and lessen
the impact of natural events (often
termed erroneously as disasters!) such as
tsunamis and cyclones. Fertile grounds for
fish and other creatures which humanity
uses as food, these productive ecosystems
are subject to much pollution and abuse
in most coastal regions. This could
jeopardise the uncountable ecological
services from which we benefit one of
which is protection against nature’s wrath.
Water being one of the fundamental
needs of life in general and for human life
in particular, our very survival and
protection from droughts is thanks to
wetlands and water bodies be these
natural or man-made. And yet, most of
these wetlands including the high-cost
dams and reservoirs remain neglected in
our country.
Compounding the already grim
scenario, we do not have clear policies for
preservation and restoration of wetlands,
nor do we seem to have the love and
respect that can halt their degradation
and disappearance. If these happen to be
National Parks and Sanctuaries or
irrigation reservoirs, there’s some hope.
But, we know that a vast majority of our
wetlands are too small and hence of any
significance to be protected and valued!
So, despite facing multitudes of problems,
we have allowed these jewels of the Earth
to remain in such a state of neglect.
There’s little wonder we struggle to
maintain the man-made systems and
incur huge costs each year for this.
Surprisingly, the only major action
we have taken so far is to build more
dams and other structures to preserve
water, while allowing nature’s bountiful
treasures such as wetlands to go derelict!
Considering that nearly two-thirds of our
bodies are water, doesn’t this neglect
come as a shock and surprise?
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
7
Ritesh Kumar (Wetlands International South Asia)
Ritesh.kumar@wi-sa.org
Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
8
The theme of the World
Wetlands Day for 2017 is Wetlands for
Disaster Risk Reduction. This theme has
been selected to raise awareness on the
vital roles of healthy wetlands in
reducing the impacts of extreme events
on communities, and in helping to build
resilience.
Worldwide, disasters continue to
immensely impact development and
environment. The increasing severity of
disasters is rooted in decisions and
actions that enhance disaster risk and
make societies more vulnerable to
hazard impacts. Sustainable
development calls for prospective and
preventive measures for reducing
disaster risk. Integrating wetlands
conservation and wise use within the
policies and programmes for disaster
risk reduction provides ‘cost-effective’
and ‘no-regrets’ options for buffering
communities from hazard impacts,
reducing exposure to hazards and
provide for human needs and
livelihoods before, during and after
hazard events.
How we use and manage
wetlands and other ecosystems is
central to disaster risk reduction.
Healthy wetlands reduce our exposure
to water related hazards such as floods
and water scarcity. Alone or in
combination with traditional
infrastructure, wetlands protect cities
and communities against inundation
and flooding from the sea and rivers,
thus reducing loss of life and damage to
property. Coastal wetlands such as
mangroves protect the coast against
flooding and serve as buffers against
saltwater intrusion. Floodplains, and
lakes retain and detain floodwaters,
reducing flood peaks reaching urban
areas and communities.
The floods of Kashmir Valley of
September 2014 and the December
2015 floods that drowned Chennai City
are grim reminders of the ways wetland
destruction can make lives vulnerable.
Evidences from Super cyclone Kalinga of
1999, Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004
and Phailin of 2013 underline the role
coastal wetlands as estuaries and
mangroves can play in buffering
communities from impacts of these
cyclones and wave surges.
India, as a signatory to Ramsar
Convention, is committed to wise use of
wetlands within its territory.
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
9
The National Environment Policy
of 2006 identifies wetlands as important
component of ‘freshwater resources’.
The policy recommends integration of
wetlands within development planning
and management of these ecosystems
through prudent use strategies.
Integration of wetlands in river basin
management is identified as a strategy
for management of river systems.
Similar articulation can be seen in our
national policies for biodiversity, climate
change, and water resources. The
Ministry of Environment, Forest and
Climate Change (MoEFCC) flagship
scheme ‘National Programme for
Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystems’
provides the programmatic framework
for wetland conservation in the country.
The Ministry notified the Wetlands
(Conservation and Management) Rules,
2010 as regulatory framework for
wetlands in the country. The rules, at the
time of writing this article, were under
revision.
Notably, the National Disaster
Management Plan, released by the
Hon’ble Prime Minister in May 2016,
includes mapping and conservation of
wetlands within the set of actions
understanding disaster risk, and
investing in specific disaster risk
reduction actions. The plan echoes the
United Nations’ Sendai Framework for
Disaster Risk Reduction emphasis on
addressing underlying risk causes for
sustainable reduction of disaster risk. It
is well-known that degradation of
wetlands aggravates society’s exposure
to natural hazards and makes them
more vulnerable to disasters.
Integration of wetlands within
disaster risk reduction strategies and
actions will require a number of
collaboration actions between wetlands
managers and those responsible for
implementation disaster risk reduction
actions:
a) Wetlands conservation and
restoration should be included
within the suite of actions
proposed for reducing disaster
risk, particularly those related to
water, food and climate security.
Assessment of wetland
ecosystem health should be
made a part of District level
Disaster Planning processes
b) States should constitute Wetland
Authorities as nodal agencies for
integrated policy, planning and
regulation of wetlands.
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
10
Representation of disaster
management authorities should
be ensured within State Wetland
Authorities.
c) Mass awareness campaigns
should be undertaken to educate
stakeholders from all walks of
society, particularly local
communities on the value of
wetland ecosystems.
Wetland managers should
take into cognizance that even if
wetlands are in healthy state,
these ecosystems are themselves
vulnerable to disaster risk and
climate change impacts. Analysis
of potential vulnerabilities must
be made a part of site
management planning processes,
and adequate response options
included as a part of adaptable
management processes.
(Source: http://medwet.org/2016/12/world-wetlands-day-2017/)
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
11
Dhaval Vargiya (Mokarsagar Wetland Conservation Committee)
Dhaval.mwcc@gmail.com
Fig. 1
Ghed
region in Porbandar District (Source: Jalaplavit, Vol. 6, No. 2)
Fig. 2 Bhadar and Ozat rivers (with Gosabara-Mokarsagar wetlands and its
surrounding villages (indicated by ellipses in an inset figure)
Ghed and Gosabara-Mokar Wetland Area as Flood Regulators
12
W
etlands provide multiple
benefits to local communities besides
wildlife. Flood regulation during
monsoon season and water retention
during dry season are very important
ecosystem services of wetlands.
Gosabara-Mokar wetland is
situated in
Sorthi Ghed
region of
Porbandar district of Gujarat. It is a large
wetland spread over an area of more
than 100 sq. km. The word
Ghed
is
derived from
Ghado
(which means
pot in Gujarati language). Just as a pot
gets filled in when water is poured into
it, the
Ghed
region gets inundated by
the rain and river waters during
monsoon. The inundation facilitated by
the
Ghed
saves many villages from the
acute effects of flash flooding during
heavy rains. Gujarat State Disaster
Management Authority (GSDMA) has
identified 9 villages in Porbandar district
as the most flood-vulnerable villages,
viz., Miyani, Palakhada, Ratia, Gorsar,
Balej, Kadachh, Mander, Tukda Gosa and
Pata.
[
Source: Impact of Monsoon Floods in the
Ghed area of Porbandar Taluka.Unnati
Foudation, Gujarat, by A. Rawal (2010
)].
Gosabara-Mokar wetland
complex is situated in
Sorthi Ghed
region. It is a huge rain-fed wetland
complex that is spread over the area of
more than 100 sq. km. It serves as
catchment area mainly of Bhadar river
though it also functions as catchment
area of Ozat river. Bhadar river has its
origin near Jasdan (Rajkot district) and
meets the Arabian sea near Navi Bandar
village (Porbandar district). Its length is
200 km and has a catchment of 7,094
sq.km. Ozat river originates near
Visavadar (Junagadh district) and meets
the Arabian sea near Navi Bandar
village. Its length is 125 km and it has
catchment of 3,185 sq. km (Source:
Narmada, Water Resources, Water
Supply and Kalpsar Department). It is
evident that these rivers are not very
long and so waters in monsoon can
reach from the origin to the end
torrentially. Moreover, in the region
(Porbandar district) wherein these rivers
meet the Arabian sea, their water
courses are narrow and meandering.
Thus, during good monsoon, when
waters torrentially flow through the
rivers, their narrow basins are unable to
hold waters. Therefore, if the large
depression area like
Ghed
or Gosabara-
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
13
Mokar wetland (through which these
rivers flow) were non-existent as a buffer
,water spilling over from the narrow river
-courses could impose serious flooding
Fig.3 Narrow channel of Bhadar River near its mouth at the Arabian sea
Fig.4 A glimpse of birdlife at Gosabara- Mokar Wetland Complex
Dhaval Vargiya
Dhaval Vargiya
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
14
effects for the some of the villages of
Porbandar district identified as flood-
vulnerable villages (mentioned earlier).
Unlike Bhadar and Ozat, the river
Madhuvanti originating from the Gir
forest also meets the Arabian sea in
Porbandar district. However, it does not
flow through this depression area (of
Ghed
and Gosa bara-Mokar wetland
complex in Porbandar district) before
meeting the Arabian sea in Porbandar
district in the form of a narrow-
channeled river. Hence, during the
heavy rains in Gir (Gir Somnath and
Junagadh district), huge amount of
waters get torrentially poured into this
river but as it does not pass through
buffering areas like Ghed or Gosabara-
Mokar wetland, the river’s flood waters
spread across one or the other of the
nine flood-vulnerable villages of
Porbandar district (mentioned earlier).
Fortunately, such incidents do not occur
every year. But, this is an apt example of
difference in flooding effect of a river
(i.e., Madhuvanti) that does not flow
through flood-buffering depression
/wetland areas and the rivers (i.e.,
Bhadar and Ozat) that pass through
Ghed and Gosabara Mokar wetland.
--------
-----------------
Nal Sarovar- A Flood-Buffer for Over A
Dozen Villages of “Nalkanthaa”
Nal Sarovar lake is the only
Ramsar Site of Gujarat. It is a shallow
depression area (with maximum 3 m
water-depth) located between true
aquatic system of Gulf of Cambay
(Khambhat) and uplands of at least
three talukas, viz. Lakhtar, Viramgam
and Sanand. It is connected to the Gulf
of Cambay through a broad, forked
creek called
“Bhogavono Pat”
that
originates somewhere near Shiyal
village in Bavla taluka. The lake has a
large area (consisting of open water
and emergent hydrophytic cover) of
147 sq. km. But, inundated area may
even swell up to 350 sq. km
immediately after heavy rains during a
good monsoon season. Local people
say that immediately after heavy rains
during a good monsoon season, Nal
Sarovar appears like a miniature sea
and that shows the capacity of the lake
to store large amount of water! Large
quantity of water drains into the lake in
a good monsoon season because apart
from the rains and rain water run-off,
lashing waters enter the Nal from the
seasonal and narrow-channeled rivers
named Bhogavo and Brahmni on the
Western fringe of the lake. If Nal
Sarovar were non-existent, over 12
villages on the periphery of the Nal (i.e.
Nalkanthaa region) could face acute
flooding effect due to these two
narrow-channeled rivers. This is the
‘flood-buffering function of Gujarat’s
Ramsar Site. -Editor
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
15
James T. Anderson (West Virginia University, USA)
wetlands@wvu.edu
December 2016 marked my first
trip to India. After a day and a half of
car rides, planes rides, and sitting in
airports I finally arrived in Ahmedabad.
At least Etihad Airways had a good
selection of movies on the long flight
from Chicago to Abu Dhabi, which
helped to pass the time. While in India,
I had the privilege of participating in a
1-day wetland seminar on December
12th and teaching a 4-day workshop
from December 13th to 16thon wetland
techniques at Nal Sarovar Ramsar
wetland site in Gujarat, India.
I was invited to India by the
Director of the Gujarat Ecological
Education and Research (GEER)
Foundation, R.D. Kamboj at the request
of Dr. Ketan Tatu. Dr. Tatu, the editor of
Jalaplavit, has long held a dream to
bring me to India so I could share my
knowledge and passion of wetlands with
others. Finally, after years of trying to
make it happen it all came together at
the end of 2016.I am truly appreciative
of the GEER Foundation, my friend and
colleague Dr. Tatu, and all those
involved with arranging my visit and
facilitating my stay in Gujarat.
The GEER foundation offered a
one-day symposium on wetlands on
December 12th and I was one of 7
invited speakers. There were about 90
people in attendance for the symposium
including many government employees,
graduate students, and faculty. I was
asked to give two presentations:
A
World View of Climate Change Impacts
on Wetlands
and
America’s Wetland
Conservation and Restoration Policies.
Other speakers included Dr. Ritesh
Kumar (
Integrated Wetland
Management
), Professor T.V.
Ramachandra (
Conservation &
Sustainable Management of Urban
Jalaplavit’s
Wetland Guru
Conducts a Wetland Techniques
Workshop at Nal Sarovar, India
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
16
Wetlands: Opportunities and
Challenges
), Dr. Asad Rahmani (
What to
Do and What Not to Do at Wetlands
),
Dr. K.D. Raju(
Legislation for Wetland
Conservation in India
), Dr. J. S. Parihar
(
Remote Sensing and GIS for Wetland
Biodiversity Research in India-Scope,
Thrust Areas & Strategies
), and Dr.
Nirmal Kumar (
Wetland Macrophyte
Vegetation
).
From December 13thto 16thI
taught a workshop on wetland
techniques which was based on the 3-
volume Wetland Techniques books that
I co-edited with Dr. Craig Davis from
Oklahoma State University:
http://wvutoday.wvu.edu/n/2013/11/11/
wvu-scholar-gathers-wetland-research-
methods-for-book-series. Attendance
was intentionally kept smaller for the
workshop, but there was still about 70
people in attendance, which made the
field labs challenging. The first day was
designed to provide the foundation and
background necessary for initial field
work. We had a full day of lectures
covering wetland classification, wetland
delineation, wetland vegetation, and
wetland hydrology, at GEER Foundation
headquarters. On December 14th we
traveled to Nal Sarovar wetland bird
sanctuary, which is managed by the
Gujarat Forest Department. For the next
3 days we spent mornings and early
afternoons in the field and late
afternoons and evenings at Kensville
Resort covering additional lecture topics
that included wetland soils, wetland
functional assessment, wetland indices
of biotic integrity, and wetland
restoration. Field exercises included
wetland classification, hydrophytic
vegetation sampling and assessment,
wetland hydrology indicators, hydric soil
identification and indicators, wetland
delineation, and macroinvertebrate
sampling. The entire week was wrapped
up in a final ceremony featuring
comments from participants, awarding
of certificates of completion, and many
photographs.
I was highly impressed with the
workshop participants. The students
asked many intriguing questions, and
they were engaged and interactive when
I asked questions to them. They were
very enthusiastic and appreciative of my
time. Students were inquisitive, kind,
and respectful.
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
17
Glimpses of my Interaction with Wetland Techniques Workshop Participants at the Nal
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
18
However, I found it a little
comical that at first, students were
hesitant to get in the water, but after a
bit of coaxing and plunging into Nal
Sarovar myself, many of the students
quickly followed suite. By the end of the
workshop I couldn’t keep some of them
out of the water! Many had excellent
field skills in at least a subset of the
topics we discussed and gladly shared
their knowledge with me and others.
All-in-all I believe that most students
learned a lot and have a better
appreciation for wetland science
following the workshop.
I also was highly impressed with
Nal Sarovar and the other wetlands that
I visited: Thol, Traj, Narda and Pariej.
The avian life was tremendous. Indeed, I
saw roughly 90 bird species that I had
not previously seen. Nal Sarovar is truly
a tremendous place, full of life and a
source of pride for Gujarat. I can see
why it was designated a Ramsar site in
2012. I saw many tourists enjoying Nal
Sarovar and also many local inhabitants
using the site and surrounding areas for
livestock grazing, fishing, and collecting
building material. Indeed, Nal Sarovar is
a treasure that needs to be conserved.
A strong research program needs to be
developed on site so managers can
respond to current and future
challenges.
I found that Gujarat has a strong
contingent of dedicated natural
resource professionals that are striving
to improve their science to conserve
their wetlands, wildlife, and
environment. It is not an easy task as
India like much of the world faces
daunting ecological challenges from
climate change, pollution, population
growth, and numerous other issues.
This workshop was one small step to
help improve the knowledge base on
wetland ecology so resource
professionals can continue to enhance
wetland conservation in India. I hope
there will be additional opportunities to
foster an exchange of ideas regarding
the wonderful wetlands and wildlife
inhabiting this vast region.
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
19
Listen to the Young Voices
Shah Nawaz Jelil1 (Division of Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation, ENVIRON, Guwahati, India)
& Pranjal Mahananda (Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore, India)
1Email: shahnawazjelil@gmail.com
Abstract: A limnological study was conducted to ascertain physico-chemical
characteristics of habitats of the Gangetic Dolphin
Platanista gangetica gangetica
in
river Kulsi in Assam, India. Three sites were selected where dolphins are known to
occur (positive sites). Another three sites were selected where dolphins have not
been observed (negative sites) in the river Kulsi. The selection of the sites was done
through literature survey and reconnaissance survey before intensive field surveys.
The study aimed at testing whether or not certain physico-chemical parameters were
responsible for the habitat preference by the dolphins. Ten variables were considered
and they were compared for the positive sites and negative sites to see if any of
these constituted a factor of habitat selection by the dolphins. The study revealed
marked differences amongst various habitats/sites. The study also revealed that pH,
turbidity and Dissolved Oxygen (DO) constituted the governing factors for the
dolphin’s site preference.
Keywords: Brahmaputra, Dissolved Oxygen, Gangetic Dolphin,
Platanista gangetica
gangetica
, physico-chemical, pH, Turbidity, South Asian river dolphin conservation
Introduction
The Gangetic Dolphin
Platanista gangetica gangetica
is a
small odontoceti species. It is one of
the four species of obligate river
dolphins. It is distributed in the
Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna-
Karnaphuli river systems of India,
Bangladesh and Nepal (Kasuya and
Haque, 1972). The Gangetic Dolphin is
listed by IUCN as an Endangered (EN)
species and it is also included in
Appendix I of CITES, Appendix II of
Convention of Migratory
Species(CMS). Moreover, it is also
placed in Schedule I of the Indian
Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Thus, it
has got legal protection nationally and
has got international recognition as a
threatened species. Despite that, only
a few thousand exist in the Ganges
system (Sinha and Sharma, 2003).
Wakid (2009) reported a total of 197
individuals in Brahmaputra river
system. River Dolphin conservation has
A Limnological Study for Habitat Assessment for the
Endangered Gangetic Dolphin(
Platanista gangetica gangetica)
in Kulsi River,Assam
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
20
become a very critical issue, owing to
the recently reported extinction of the
Baiji
or the Chinese River Dolphin
(
Lipotes vexilifer
) (Turvey
et al
., 2007).
Conservation of endangered
species needs many lines of inquiry to
facilitate a holistic approach to
conservation planning (Sutari, 2009).
Investigation into physico-chemical
properties of water may constitute one
of the many lines of inquiry. The
present study focused on
understanding the habitat parameters
for the Gangetic Dolphin in Kulsi river
of Assam.
Study Area
Kulsi river (Fig. 1), a southern
tributary of river Brahmaputra
originates in the state of Meghalaya
(25°38´ N, 91°38´ E) in India, where it is
known as Khri River. At the distance of
about12 km from its origin, the river
enters Kamrup district of Assam at
Umkiam and is known as Kulsi from
this point (Wakid and Braulik, 2009).
River Kulsi traverses 7.5 km to the
northeast and termed as Kulsi up to
the place called Ghoramara, beyond
which it is termed as river Kalahi. The
river (after flowing for about 80 km)
merges with Brahmaputra at
Nagarbera. The origin of Kulsi is of
antecedent type and receives water
from various sources like surface run-
off water, ground water and hill
streams at source. On the basis of
continuity of flow, the river may
reasonably be classified as permanent
with a perennial source of water (Roy,
2000). Kulsi harbours diverse
ichthyofauna and this diversity is
attributed due to the climatic
conditions, physiography, topography
as well as its drainage system. A total
of 63 fish species belonging to 8
orders and 21 families have been
recorded along with 6 exotic fishes
(Goswami and Ali, 2012) in Kulsi river.
It is surrounded by a number of
wetlands viz., Kulsi, Dorabeel,
Kukurmara, Salsola, Barpith, Baweli,
Chandubi, etc. (Goswami and Ali,
2012). Among them, wetlands-
Chandubi (the tectonic wetland),
Solbeel and Beeldora, play a pivotal
role in providing healthy prey base for
the Gangetic Dolphin. Kulsiriver is one
of the last and favourable refuges of
this endangered river dolphin, i.e.
Platenista gangetica gangetica.
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
21
Figure 1: Some sampling sites for habitat assessment for
P.gangetica
gangetica
, River Kusli, Assam, India (A: India; B: Assam, C: Some of the sampled
sites in Kulsi river (Source: NatGeo map maker)
Fig.2. A view of Kulsi river in Kukurmara region, Assam
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
22
Material and Methods
Study design: Based on the
reconnaissance survey and
comprehensive literature survey
carried out from September, 2013 to
April, 2014, 6 sites were selected for
the field data collection. These
selected sites included 3 sites for
which the river dolphins occurrence
was most often reported and they
were named as positive sites’. Rest of
the three sites were those for which
the dolphins occurrence was never
reported and such sites were named
negative sites. The positive sites were
(a) Kukurmara (b) Samaria(c) Jaljoli and
the negative sites were (a) Gumi (b)
Kulsi village and (c) Singra. Nine
habitat-assessment limnological
variables were considered for the
study. The field work comprised of
visiting the pre-selected sites and
recording the pre-determined habitat
variables. Since the basic aim was to
compare the habitat parameters of
positive and negative sites, the sites
were sampled during almost the same
time of the day (i. e. mid-day hours) to
refrain from biases. Positive and
negative sites as two sets of
microhabitats were then compared
and results were deduced thereby.
Assumptions: (i) The main assumption
was that all other environmental
variables (e.g., fish composition and
availability) other than those
considered in this study were alike at
all the sampling sites.
(ii) Human/anthropogenic pressure
was equal at all the sampling sites.
Field survey and data collection: The
priority for the team was to study the
dolphins in a non-invasive way. Hence
all surveys were conducted on foot or
on traditional wooden canoes. The
field survey was conducted from April
to May, 2014. Nine habitat-assessment
limnological variables were considered
for the study (i) pH (ii) water depth (iii)
dissolved oxygen (DO) (iv) Secchi Disk
Transparency (v) water temperature (vi)
water colour (vii) flow velocity (viii)
presence or absence of eddy counter
current system (ix) type of river bed.
These data along with other data such
as channel width, number of dolphins
spotted, nearby river confluences, river
meanders, weather, bank type, human
activities in the river were also
recorded into field datasheets. To
refrain from biases, each site was
surveyed only during mid-day hours.
pH was measured using a digital pH
meter, water depth using the sounding
weight method, DO was tested using
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
23
Winkler methods, temperature was
measured using a thermometer,
velocity was measured using the float
methods and water transparency (light
penetration)using the Secchi disk.
Results and Discussions
The data were presented in aggregate
form so as to compare the positive
and negative sites as two habitats with
respect to the dolphin’s
occurrence/non-occurrence (Table 1)
viz. Habitat with River Dolphin’s
Occurrence (HwRD), i.e., ‘positive sites’
collectively and Habitat without River
Dolphin’s Occurrence (Hw/oRD), i.e.,
‘negative sites’ collectively. The pH of
the positive sites (or HwRD) ranged
from 7.98.1, while at the negative
sites (or Hw/oRD), it ranged from 5.7
6.2. DO of the waters at the positive
sites (or HwRD) was 1.1 mg/L whereas
DO for the negative sites(or Hw/oRD)
was below 0.6 mg/L. Flow velocity at
positive sites (HwRD) was 0.07
compared to 0.140.17 at the negative
sites (Hw/oRD). Secchi Disk
transparency ranged from 2930 cm at
positive sites and 2425.5 cm at
negative sites’(Hw/oRD). These four
variables, viz., pH, DO, transparency
and flow velocity play a vital role in
habitat preference in the Gangetic
Dolphin in Kulsi. As observed, the
presence of eddy counter current
increased the possibility of dolphin
presence in Kulsi. Other variables were
almost similar in both positive and
negative sites. Accurately describing
and understanding the processes that
determine the distribution of
organisms is a fundamental problem in
ecology, with important conservation
and management implications
(Redfern
et al
., 2006). The present
study showed some remarkable
differences between the values of
some of the habitat related
limnological variables that were
considered in the study. They indicated
that these variables constitute some of
the key factors for the presence or
absence of the river dolphin in the
study area. Field surveys were
conducted in the pre-monsoon
season. In this season, water dried up
and the river water-depth got
decreased. Interestingly, only four
individuals of dolphins were observed
in one of the six sites, i.e., Kukurmara.
A dolphin calf was sighted in
Kukurmara.
The inference of the study is
that during pre-monsoon season, since
the water level decreases, the dolphins
seek refuge in some segments of the
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
24
river where relatively better water-
depth was available.
Our study reiterates that
Kukurmara segment of the river Kulsi is
a highly preferable site for the
dolphins as they are present here all
year round including the dry period. In
turn, management and conservation of
this segment of Kulsi should be
considered to be of utmost
importance.
Acknowledgements: The equipment
support for this study was provided by
the Department of Zoology, Pandu
College. We thank Dr. ParagDeka of
Pandu College for all the necessary
equipment and demonstration of data
collection. We also thank Shakeel and
Mr. Jahangir Hussain for their help
during the field surveys.
References:
Goswami, C. and S. Ali. (2012).
Ichthyofaunal diversity of Kulsiriver:
Prime habitat of dolphin. Biological
Forum-An International Journal 4(2):
3844.
Kasuya, T. and A. K. M. Haque. (1972).
Some information on distribution and
seasonal movement of Ganges
dolphin. Scientific reports of the
Whales Research Institute. 24: 109
115.
Redfern, J. V, M. C. Ferguson, E. A.
Becker, K. D. Hyrenbach, C. Good, J.
Barlow, K. Kaschner, M. J. Baumgartner,
K. A. Forney, L. T. Balance, P. Fauchald,
P. Halpin, T., Hamazaki, A. J. Pershing,
S. S. Qian, A. Read, S. B. Reilly, L. Torres
and F. Werner. (2006). Techniques for
Cetacean-Habitat Modelling. Marine
Ecology Progress Series. 310: 271295.
Roy, S. (2000). Studies on the ecology
of the Gangetic river dolphin
Platanista
gangetica gangetica
(Roxburg, 1801) in
the Kulsi river of Assam.PhD thesis,
Department of Zoology, Gauhati
University, Guwahati, India.
Sinha, R. K. and G. Sharma. (2003).
Current status of the Ganges river
dolphin
Platanista gangetica
gangetica
in the rivers Kosi and Son,
Bihar, India. Journal of Bombay Natural
History Society 100(1): 2737.
Sutari, D.(2009). Species conservation
in a complex socio-ecological system:
Irrawaddy dolphins
Orcaellabrevirostris
in Chilika lagoon, India. PhD thesis,
School of Earth and Environmental
Sciences, James Cook University,
Townsville, Australia.
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
25
Turvey, S., R. L. Pitman, B. Taylor, J.
Barlow, T. Akamatsu, L. A. Barrett,, X.
Zhao, R. R. Reeves, B. S. Stewart, K.
Wang, Z. Wei, X. Zhang, L. T. Pusser, M.
Richlen, J. R. Brandon and D. Wang.
(2007). First human-caused extinction
of a cetacean species? Biology Letters
3:537540.
Wakid, A. (2009.) Status and
distribution of the endangered
Gangetic dolphin (
Platanista gangetica
gangetica
) in the Brahmaputra river
within India in 2005. Current Science
97(8): 11431151.
Wakid, A and G. Braulik. (2009).
Protection of endangered Ganges river
dolphin in Brahmaputra river. Final
technical report submitted to IUCN-Sir
Peter Scott Fund, 44pp
Table 1: Values of the habitat-assessment limnological variables for
positive sites’ (grouped as HwRD) and negative sites’ (grouped as Hw/oRD)
pH
Secchi
disk
transpare-
ncy (cm)
Velocity
(ms-1)
DO
(mg/L)
Depth
(m)
Type of
riverbed
Temperature
of water (°C)
Colour
Eddy
counter
current
HwRD
8.1
29-30
0.07
1.1
4.23
Muddy
17.8
MB
Present
Hw/o
RD
5.7-
6.2
24-25.5
0.15
0.6
and
below
4.32
Rocky
and
muddy
15.6
MB
Absent
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
26
Listen to the Young Voices
Akshit R.Suthar 1 (Gujarat Ecological Society) & Dilipsinh Chudasama
1 Akshitsuthar@gmail.com,
Abstract
To understand the shorebird profile of Kachchh coastal area under industrial
pressure, we conducted a study to get shorebird profile of a portion of it spread over 5-
6 km coastline of Modhava beach in Mundra Taluka, Kachchh District. Field work for the
study was carried out from April 2015 to March 2016. A total of 45 species were
recorded along Modhava beach that belonged to 5 orders and 11 families. Most species
were small or large waders belonging to the families Scolopacidae (16 species of
sandpipers, shanks, godwits etc), Charadriidae (6 species of plovers)] and Ardeidae (3
species of herons, egrets etc.). Other relatively dominant family was the seabird family
Laridae (with 11 species of gulls and terns). Of the remaining families, 2 families were
represented by 2 species each and 5 families were represented by one species each. Of
the total recorded species (i.e., 45 species), 2 species of birds were globally threatened
(1 Endangered and 1 Vulnerable) whereas eight species were Near Threatened as per
IUCN’s Red Data List of Threatened Species.
Introduction
Waders (i.e., shorebirds and
large waders) and seabirds are integral
components of coastal wetland
ecosystems. Many of them forage over
large geographic areas and feed at
different trophic levels. Thus, they are
often considered to be effective
indicators of the health of the
ecosystem of which they are part.
Seabirds have been used to monitor
pollution. and effects of fisheries
management practices. Moreover,
seabirds show ecological responses to
changes in aquatic productivity or
climate change.
The check-list of birds of Kachchh
district was prepared by several
ornithologists from time to time;
notably among them were Lester, Salim
Ali, Bates, Ripley, Himmatsinhji and
Maharao. As per Tiwari and Sen,
Kachchh district supports more than 300
species of birds which include waders
and seabirds. The Modhava beach,
where the present survey was carried
out, is situated in Mundra Taluka
of
Kachchh District in Gujarat State. It
provides an excellent habitat for small
A Pioneering Survey of Waders and Seabirds in Modhava
Coastal Area, Kachchh District, Gujarat State, India
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
27
waders (shorebirds), large waders
(herons, egrets etc.) and seabirds (gulls
and terns). They utilize coastal wetlands
with marshy shores and sandy beaches.
Several migratory birds visit this coastal
area every year during winter. Keeping
in view the conservation value of
shorebirds and this shorebird habitat,
systematic efforts were made by us
during April 2015March 2016 with the
objective to have an overview of the
diversity and threats to shorebirds in
this landscape.
Study Area
Kachchh district is a crescent
shaped peninsula located on the north-
western part of Gujarat state. The term
“Kachchh” is derived from
“Katchua or
Kachbo”
meaning Tortoise. It is the
largest district of India spreading over
45,653 sq. km. It is located between the
latitudes 22o 44 11” to 24 o 41’ 25” N
and the longitudes 68 09 46” to 71 54
47” E. Large portion of Kachchh district
and this coastal area functions as an
abode to innumerable waders and
seabirds especially in winter. The
ecological features of the Kachchh
includes long coastline of 405 km,
undulating terrain, saline marshy desert,
pristine grasslands, hillocks and bets.
Modhava coastal area in Mundra
taluka, Kachchh district (marked in the
Fig.1) consisted of nearly 5 km wide
intertidal zone having mangrove forest,
sandy shore and rocky habitat. The area
had been traditionally used for fishing
and salt-manufacturing, but in the
modern times, it is increasingly used for
industrial development.
is located in arid bio-geographic zone.
The northern shore of the Gulf of
Kachchh is located in Kachchh district
Kachchh Coast is one of the rare
ecological zones in the world having
rich bio-diversity. It comprises of
mangroves, Coral reefs, Mudflats,
Seaweeds, Commercial Fishes and
several rare marine species. A
prominent feature of the Kutch Coast
is the vast intertidal zone comprising
a network of creeks, estuaries and
mudflats. The Kutch coast provides
conducive environment for several sea
based traditional occupations.
(Source:<http://www.ceeindia.org/cee
/pdf_files/ kutch_coast_study.pdf>)
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
28
G
Fig.1 Modhava coastal area in Mundra taluka, Kachchh district
Material and Methods
Observations were made by
conducting field visits at regular time-
interval. Field work was conducted from
April 2015 to March 2016. Field visits
were conducted every month during the
study period and all the three distinct
seasons (i.e. winter, summer and
monsoon) were covered. Observations
were made mainly from 0600hr (or
sunrise) to 1200hr and 0300hr to 0630hr
(sunset). The area was explored
travelling on vehicles as well as on foot.
The observations were carried out with a
pair of 10 x 50 binoculars. Species were
identified using recognized field
guides/Handbooks/Checklists like those
by Ali & Ripley (1983), Grimmett
et al.
(1998), Parasharya
et al
. (2004) and
Rasmussen & Anderton (2005). We also
communicated with many local villagers
Mundra
Gujarat
Kachch District
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
29
and fishermen to understand their
dependency on this coastal area and
identifying threats due to anthropogenic
activities.
Results
A total of 45 species were
recorded in the Modhava coastal area
which belonged to 5 orders and 11
families (Table 1).
Family-wise species richness
Maximum number of species (i.e.,
16 species) belonged to the family
Scolopacidae (i.e., family of Sandpipers,
Godwit, Whimbrel, Turnstone etc.)
followed by Laridae family [i.e., family of
Gulls, Terns, Skimmers) with 11 species,
Charadriidae family[i.e., family of
Plovers] with 6 species and Ardeidae
family [i.e., family of Herons, Egrets etc.]
with 3 species. Of the remaining
families, 2 were represented by 2
species and 5 families were represented
by one species.
Threatened & Near Threatened
Species (as per IUCN)
Of the total recorded species, 10
(i.e., 22%) species of waterbirds were
globally threatened/Near Threatened as
per IUCN (2010)’s Red List of Threatened
Species. Of these 10 species of birds,
one species was Endangered (EN), one
species was Vulnerable (VU) and eight
species were Near Threatened (NT). The
details of the status of those species are
given in Table 2.
3
1
6
2 1 1
11
1 1 2
16
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
Fig. 2 Family-wise waterbird species richness recorded on Modhava coast
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
30
Table 1. Checklist of waterbirds recorded on Modhava coastal area, Kachchh
Common
Name
Scientific Name
Order
Family
Resident
-ial
Status
IUCN
Status
Western Reef
Egret
Egretta gularis
Pelecaniformes
Ardeidae
R
LC
Great Egret
Ardea alba
Pelecaniformes
Ardeidae
R
LC
Grey Heron
Ardea cinerea
Pelecaniformes
Ardeidae
R
LC
Great Thick-
knee
Esacus
recurvirostris
Charadriiformes
Burhinidae
R
NT
Pacific Golden
Plover
Pluvialis fulva
Charadriiformes
Charadriidae
M
LC
Little Ringed
Plover
Charadrius
dubius
Charadriiformes
Charadriidae
RM
LC
Grey Plover
Pluvialis
squatarola
Charadriiformes
Charadriidae
M
LC
Kentish Plover
Charadrius
alexandrinus
Charadriiformes
Charadriidae
RM
LC
Lesser Sand
Plover
Charadrius
mongolus
Charadriiformes
Charadriidae
M
LC
Greater Sand
Plover
Charadrius
leschenaultii
Charadriiformes
Charadriidae
M
LC
Painted Stork
Mycteria
leucocephala
Ciconiiformes
Ciconiidae
R
NT
Black necked
Stork
Ephippiorhynchu
s asiaticus
Ciconiiformes
Ciconiidae
R
NT
Crab Plover
Dromas ardeola
Charadriiformes
Dromadidae
M
LC
Eurasian
Oystercatcher
Haematopus
ostralegus
Charadriiformes
Haematopodi
dae
M
NT
Heuglin's Gull
Larus heuglini
Charadriiformes
Laridae
M
LC
Pallas's Gull
Ichthyaetus
ichthyaetus
Charadriiformes
Laridae
M
LC
Brown
Headed Gull
Chroicocephalus
brunnicephalus
Charadriiformes
Laridae
M
LC
Black Headed
Gull
Chroicocephalus
ridibundus
Charadriiformes
Laridae
M
LC
Slender Billed
Gull
Chroicocephalus
genei
Charadriiformes
Laridae
M
LC
Little Tern
Sternula
albifrons
Charadriiformes
Laridae
R
LC
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
31
Lesser
Crested tern
Thalasseus
bengalensis
Charadriiformes
Laridae
M
LC
Gull-Bill Tern
Gelochelidon
nilotica
Charadriiformes
Laridae
M
LC
Whiskered
Tern
Chlidonias
hybrida
Charadriiformes
Laridae
M
LC
Caspian Tern
Hydroprogne
caspia
Charadriiformes
Laridae
RM
LC
Caspian Gull
Larus cachinnans
Charadriiformes
Laridae
M
LC
Dalmatian
Pelican
Pelecanus
crispus
Pelecaniformes
Pelecanidae
M
VU
Greater
Flamingo
Phoenicopterus
roseus
Phoenicopterifo
rmes
Phoenicopteri
dae
RM
LC
Pied Avocet
Recurvirostra
avosetta
Charadriiformes
Recurvirostrid
ae
RM
LC
Black winged
stilt
Himantopus
himantopus
Charadriiformes
Recurvirostrid
ae
R
LC
Whimbrel
Numenius
phaeopus
Charadriiformes
Scolopacidae
M
LC
Common
RedShank
Tringa totanus
Charadriiformes
Scolopacidae
M
LC
Terek
Sandpiper
Xenus cinereus
Charadriiformes
Scolopacidae
M
LC
Ruddy
TurnStone
Arenaria
interpres
Charadriiformes
Scolopacidae
M
LC
Sanderling
Calidris alba
Charadriiformes
Scolopacidae
M
LC
Dunlin
Calidris alpina
Charadriiformes
Scolopacidae
M
LC
Eurasian
Curlew
Numenius
arquata
Charadriiformes
Scolopacidae
M
NT
Common
GreenShank
Tringa nebularia
Charadriiformes
Scolopacidae
M
LC
Bar-Tailed
Godwit
Limosa lapponica
Charadriiformes
Scolopacidae
M
NT
Black-Tailed
Godwit
Limosa limosa
Charadriiformes
Scolopacidae
M
NT
Common
Sandpiper
Actitis
hypoleucos
Charadriiformes
Scolopacidae
M
LC
Spotted
Redshank
Tringa
erythropus
Charadriiformes
Scolopacidae
M
LC
Green
Sandpiper
Tringa ochropus
Charadriiformes
Scolopacidae
M
LC
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
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Note: R: Resident, M: Migratory, RM: Resident-Migratory, LC: Least Concern (as per IUCN Red List
of Threatened Species), NT: Near Threatened, VU: Vulnerable, EN: Endangered
Table 2. Threatened & Near Threatened Waterbirds of Modhava coast
Sr.No
Common Name
Scientific Name
IUCN Status
1
Great Thick-knee
Esacus recurvirostris
NT
2
Painted Stork
Mycteria leucocephala
NT
3
Black-necked Stork
Ephippiorhynchus
asiaticus
NT
4
Eurasian Oystercatcher
Haematopus
ostralegus
NT
5
Dalmatian Pelican
Pelecanus crispus
VU
6
Eurasian Curlew
Numenius arquata
NT
7
Bar-tailed Godwit
Limosa lapponica
NT
8
Black-tailed Godwit
Limosa limosa
NT
9
Great Knot
Calidris tenuirostris
EN
10
Curlew Sandpiper
Calidris ferruginea
NT
Fig. 3 Proportion of Threatened & Near Threatened waterbirds
(Modhava coast)
LC
78%
NT
18%
VU
2%
EN
2%
IUCN
Status
LC
NT
VU
EN
Marsh
Sandpiper
Tringa stagnatilis
Charadriiformes
Scolopacidae
M
LC
Great Knot
Calidris
tenuirostris
Charadriiformes
Scolopacidae
M
EN
Curlew
Sandpiper
Calidris
ferruginea
Charadriiformes
Scolopacidae
M
NT
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
33
Residential Status of Birds
Of the total 45 species
recorded, 32 species were
Migratory (71%) for the Indian
Subcontinent, 8 were Resident (18%)
and 5 species were Resident-Migratory.
Fig. 4 Proportion of Migratory, Resident and Resident-Migratory species
Threats identified
During the study period, we
identified several threats or disturbance
factors in this coastal area. Some of
them are mentioned below:
Rapid industrialization and other
proposed development activities.
Increasing shipping traffic and
associated problems like oil spills,
garbage and ballast water disposal,
spillage of transport materials like
coal, fertilizers, soda ash and cement.
Changes in traditional fishing
practices.
Movement of a variety of vehicles (2-
wheelers to 4-wheelers).
Likely increase in infrastructure and
tourism pressure in future.
18%
71%
11%
R
M
RM
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
34
Crab plovers with a port in background Flamingo near fishermen on a bike
Sanderling and Ruddy Turnstone in front A flock of Black-headed Gull with
of a fisherman boats/steamers in background
Eurasian Oystercatcher and a gull in the vicinity of fishermen
Dilipsinh Chudasama
Dilipsinh Chudasama
Dilipsinh Chudasama
Dilipsinh Chudasama
Dilipsinh Chudasama
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
35
Discussion
Modhava beach is certainly rich
from the viewpoint of shorebirds and
seabirds. As per our opinion, it supports
almost 19% of species of wetland birds
of India. The 5 km long intertidal zone
has several creeks. The area around the
creeks has abundant mangroves. The
mangroves are known to support fish
breeding and other faunal diversity
including mollusks, crabs and
mudskippers. They constitute the diet
for a variety of shorebirds and seabirds.
As the intertidal area provides strategic
locations where traditional fishing can
be carried out, more than 1000 families
of the Mundra coastal area are involved
in fishing. But now the entire 60 km
intertidal zone in Mundra area is being
used up by industries. In addition to an
existing port, four new ports, backup
facilities and shipyards are coming up in
the Mundra coast. A multipurpose SEZ
has been planned along the port. Nearly
25,000 MW power will be generated by
coal based power plants on the Mundra
coast. During field-work, we had also
observed that the birds got disturbed
due to drilling activities. The area has
been under tremendous pressure due to
rapid industrialization, changes in
traditional fishing practices and tourism.
About 10 bird species that were found
to be threatened and good
concentration of shorebirds make
Modhava beach a very important area
for bird conservation.
The Modhava coastal area is located in Mundra taluka, Kachchh district. A prominent
feature of the Mundra Coast is the vast intertidal zone comprising a network of creeks,
estuaries and mudflats. The intertidal zone is unique and very important because the
fishermen can land their boats in these natural creeks and also keep them there safe from
strong winds and currents. The fisher-folk have complete knowledge of the sea and have
been living on the coasts for ages. They are familiar with the creeks of the area and the
intertidal zone is important for their occupation, economic prosperity and survival of their
families. The creeks also form a natural drainage system which if disturbed might lead to
flooding during monsoons. Scientists have identified vacant sites along the Kutch coast
(Zone 3 Mandvi-Jakhau, Zone 1 Bhachau Gandhidham) which could be used for industrial
development. Along the northern coast, two lengthy stretches are available without any
ecologically sensitive zones that could be used for future development of industries. Why
use the ecologically sensitive and traditional livelihood supporting Mundra Coast for
Industrial Development when alternative sites are available nearby.
(Source: http://www.ceeindia.org/cee/pdf_files/impactofindustrial_expansion_in_mundra_coast.pdf)
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
36
Conclusion
The Modhava beach supports many
resident and migratory bird species, of
which, some are threatened. Apart from
good avian diversity, this area has been
providing good habitat to many living
organisms. It has also been providing
livelihood option to fishermen
communities. But, being an important
area for a variety of avifauna it should
receive immediate attention for
conservation.
Recommendations
No/cautious development on coast and
Habitat restoration:
If at all necessary, very cautious and
environmentally careful industrial and
other development activities on the
coast-line of Kachchh. Carrying out
mangrove plantation by Forest
Department by involving local
communities.
Research and Monitoring:
The coastline of Kachchh is being used
for only commercial purposes, but its
biodiversity richness is always neglected
and not properly documented. This
coastline has been providing good
habitat to many migratory and resident
birds, mammals, sea turtles and marine
invertebrates. Regular monitoring of this
coast biodiversity and developing the
database is crucial considering need for
environment impact assessments for
establishing new industrial or
commercial units.
Public Awareness:
Much can be achieved for coastal
biodiversity conservation through public
awareness and education. Awareness
can be created at various levelsamong
local NGOs, fisher-folks and coastal
residents. Training/nature education
programmes need to be conducted for
school/ college students and volunteers
and employees of NGOs.
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
37
Great Knot Eurasian Oystercatcher
Black-necked Stork Dalmatian Pelican
Eurasian Thick-knee Bar-tailed Godwit
Dilipsinh Chudasama
Dilipsinh Chudasama
Dilipsinh Chudasama
Dilipsinh Chudasama
Dilipsinh Chudasama
D. Chudasama
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
38
Eurasian Curlew Curlew Sandpiper
A flock of Greater Flamingo at Modhava Beach
Dilipsinh Chudasama
Dilipsinh Chudasama
Dilipsinh Chudasama
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
39
Carb Plover a species covered under “Agreement on the Conservation of African-
Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA)
An aesthetic value of Modhava Beach-a flock of Flamingos at sunset
Dilipsinh Chudasama
Dilipsinh Chudasama
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1, March 2017
40
Acknowledgments
We are thankful to Mr. Nirav Pomal,
Ashish Gohil, Mahesh Parmar and Alok
Jethi to give accompany us during the
field, we also grateful to Dr. Ketat tatu
Sr. Scientist, GREER Foundation for their
support and encouragement to
preparation of this manuscript.
References
Ali S. and Ripley S.D.(1983).A Pictorial
Guide to the birds of the Indian
Subcontinent. Bombay Natural History
Society. Oxford University Press,
Bombay, 165.
Grimmett, R., C. Inskipp & T. Inskipp
(1998).
Pocket Guide to The Birds of the
Indian Subcontinent
. Oxford University
Press, Delhi, 480.
IUCN (2010).IUCN Red List of
Threatened Species. Version 2010.4.
www.iucnredlist.org
Parasharya, B.M., C.K. Borad & D.N. Rank
(2004).
A Checklist of the Birds of
Gujarat.
Bird Conservation Society,
Gujarat, 26pp.
Rasmussen, P. C. &, J. C. Anderton
(2005). Birds of South Asia: the Ripley
guide. 1st ed. Washington, D.C. and
Barcelona: Smithsonian Institution and
Lynx Edicions. 2 vols. Pp. 1378; 1683
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1,March 2017
41
Listen to the Young Voices (Avian Profile of a Village Pond)
Dhara R. Shah, Ishani B. Patel and Jagruti Y. Rathod*(Gujarat Ecological Society)
*E-mail: rathod21@gmail.com
Abstract
There are 1,561 villages in Vadodara district and usually each village has at least one
pond. Ankodiya is one of the traditional villages of this district in Vadodara taluka.
Our baseline study using point count method revealed that Ankodiya village pond
supports several species of resident and migratory birds and other fauna. A total of
50 species of birds were recorded that belonged to 28 families. The study
demonstrated significance of even a small village pond of Gujarat in supporting
avian and other type of fauna.
Key words: waterbirds, wetland
Introduction
Ponds have their own
aesthetic and ecological values.
Various ponds and other wetlands
provide a balancing reservoir for
sustaining native flora and fauna
(Surana
et. al
., 2007). Moreover, ponds
are often important for maintaining
ground water level, flood control,
balanced food chain etc. Each district
of Gujarat has different types of ponds
and Vadodara district in Central
Gujarat is no exception. As per the
Wetland Atlas for Gujarat published in
2010 by Space Applications Center,
Geographical area of Vadodara district
is 7,794 sq. km and total wetland area
is 35.55 sq.km which include 537 small
wetlands. Vadodara district has 12
talukas and 1561 villages. Vadodara
taluka has total 109 villages and
almost all villages have village ponds.
We have preliminarily surveyed about
50% of ponds in the district and based
on these surveys we believe that there
has been wide variation in their
biodiversity richness. Therefore, we
have initiated baseline biodiversity
studies on various ponds of the
district. Ankodiya village pond is one
such pond.
Study Area
Ankodiya village is 12 km away from
Vadodara city and is located towards
north-west of Vadodara city
(22º20.455’ N, 73º6.882’ E). Most of the
people of this village are farmers and
Avifauna of Ankodiya Village Pond,Vadodara District, Gujarat
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1,March 2017
42
workers. The area of the pond is 1.8 ha.
The pond is surrounded by trees like
Ficus benghalensis
and
Acacia nilotica
Fig.1 Ankodiya Village Pond & its location with respect to
Vadoadara city
Fig. 2 A View of Ankodiya Village Pond
Ankodiya Pond
Ankodiyaa
Pond
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1,March 2017
43
Material and Methods
Field surveys were carried out by
laying point transects appropriately
and representatively across the study
area (
Bibby et al., 1993)
. Bird species
utilizing the pond area were recorded
using point count method. We had
covered 90% of the pond area with 4
observation points. Seasonal surveys
of the pond were carried out, but only
the maximum count for each species
recorded was used for reporting. This
was done to indicate the capacity or
suitability of the pond in supporting
various bird species in terms of their
likely maximum numbers that can
inhabit it. Bird species were identified
using pairs of 10x40 binoculars and
well-recognized Field Guides such as
one by Grimmett
et al.
(1999) and Ali
(2002). Birds were categorized into
waterbird and terrestrial bird species
and they were further sub-categorized
into 2 types Extra-limital Migrants for
Gujarat and Resident for Gujarat. The
comprehensive checklist was prepared
using standardized common, scientific
names, family, current population
trend and status as per IUCN 2016
(Table 1).
Results and Discussion
A total of 50 species of birds
belonging to 29 families were sighted
during the study period. Of these, 26
species were waterbirds and 24
species were terrestrial birds (Table. 1).
Dominant waterbird families included
Ardeidae (4 spp.) Scolopacidae (4 spp.)
and Threskiornithidae (4 spp.) (Table
1). Birds of these families are known to
be predominantly carnivorous. Four
species of birds were migratory which
included Black-tailed Godwit (
Limosa
limosa
), Common Sandpiper (
Actitis
hypolecos
), Common Redshank (
Tringa
totanus
) and Yellow Wagtail
(
Moctacilla flava
). Ankodiya pond not
only supported waterbirds, but it also
supported terrestrial birds. Further, this
pond also supported some Globally
Near Threatened (NT) species of birds
(as per IUCN’s Red List of Threatened
Species, 2016). They included Black-
tailed Godwit (
Limosa limosa
), Painted
Stork (
Mycteria leucocephala
), Indian
River Tern (
Sterna aurantia
) and
Oriental White Ibis (
Threskiornis
melanocephalus
). Birds and other
organisms often get good food
resource from such ponds due to their
richness in organic components, high
productivity, aquatic plants,
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1,March 2017
44
phytoplankton and zooplanktons
(Bhandarkar, 2008). It was found that
Ankodiya village pond had not only
supported migratory species, but it
also supported residential species of
the birds. It was also found that
presence of large number of trees like
Ficus benghalensis, Acacia nilotica,
Azadirachta indica, Ficus religiosa
L.,
and
Pithecellobium dulce
attracted
good number of terrestrial species of
birds for roosting and nesting. These
trees also facilitated foraging, shelter
and breeding habitats for some
resident waterbirds such as Black Ibis
and egrets.
Conclusion
Despite its small size, Ankodiya
village pond was found to be
important in fulfilling foraging life
requisite of several migratory and
resident waterbird species, some of
which were Near Threatened as per the
Red List of Threatened Species by
IUCN. As the pond was surrounded by
native trees, it was also found to be
important for fulfilling foraging,
resting and roosting life requisites of
several terrestrial (arborial) birds and
nesting needs of waterbirds like ibis
and egrets. Therefore, conservation
value of Ankodya village pond and
similar rural wetlands should not be
under-estimated.
Recommendations
The pond should be protected
from any unplanned activity like
filling or draining.
It should also be protected from
excessive and unchecked release of
sewage into it.
If deepening of the pond is
required to improve its storage
potential, then it should be done
in such a way that waterbird and
fish habitats are not altered.
Logs can be provided on the
banks of the pond to enhance
basking/sunning utility of the
banks for amphibians, turtles,
waterbirds etc.
Poles/snags can be erected at
appropriate places to provide
perching micro-habitat for the
some waterbirds.
Awareness programme should be
carried out for villagers,
youngsters and students.
Detailed studies on this and
similar kinds of wetlands should
be carried out.
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1,March 2017
45
Table 1: Checklist of Aquatic and terrestrial birds observed at Ankodiya pond
From December 2014 to 2015
Sr.No
.
Birds
common
name
Scientific name
Family
Status
Status
(as
per
‘Red
List’
IUCN
2016)
Global
Population
Trend(as
per ‘Red
List’, IUCN)
Maximum
No. Of
species
sighted at
Ankodiya
Pond
Waterbirds
1
Comb
Duck
Sarkidiornis
melanotos
Anatidae
R
LC
D
5
2
Asian
Openbill
Anastomus oscitans
Ciconiidae
R
LC
UK
3
3
Black-
tailed
Godwit
Limosa limosa
Scolopacidae
M
NT
D
4
4
Black-
winged
Stilt
Himantopus
himantopus
Recurvirostrid
ae
R
LC
I
29
5
Bronze-
winged
Jacana
Metopidius indicus
Jacanidae
R
LC
UK
3
6
Cattle
Egret
Bubulcus ibis
Ardeidae
R
LC
I
15
7
Common
Kingfisher
Alcedo atthis
Alcedinidae
R
LC
UK
2
8
Common
Redshank
Tringatotanus
Scolopacidae
M
LC
UK
2
9
Common
Sandpiper
Actitishypoleucos
Scolopacidae
M
LC
D
4
10
Eurasian
Spoonbill
Platalealeucorodia
Threskiornithi
dae
R
LC
UK
3
11
Glossy
Ibis
Plegadisfalcinellus
Threskiornithi
dae
R
LC
D
2
12
Great
Cormoran
t
Phalacrocoraxcarbo
Phalacrocora
cidae
R
LC
I
5
13
Indian
Pond-
heron
Ardeolagrayii
Ardeidae
R
LC
UK
10
14
Intermedi
ate Egret
Ardeaintermedia
Ardeidae
R
LC
D
2
15
Lesser
Whistling
Duck
Dendrocygnajavanic
a
Anatidae
R
LC
D
7
16
Little
Cormoran
t
Microcarboniger
Phalacrocora
cidae
R
LC
UK
10
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1,March 2017
46
17
Little
Egret
Egrettagarzetta
Ardeidae
R
LC
I
10
18
Little
Ringed
Plover
Charadriusdubius
Charadriidae
R
LC
S
7
19
Oriental
White Ibis
Threskiornismelanoc
ephalus
Threskiornithi
dae
R
NT
D
5
20
Painted
stork
Mycterialeucocephal
a
Ciconiidae
R
NT
D
9
21
Red-
naped Ibis
Pseudibispapillosa
Threskiornithi
dae
R
LC
D
12
22
Red-
wattled
Lapwing
Vanellusindicus
Charadriidae
R
LC
UK
33
23
Indian
River Tern
Sterna aurantia
Laridae
R
NT
D
12
24
Ruff
Calidrispugnax
Scolopacidae
R
LC
D
3
25
White-
breasted
Kingfisher
Halcyon smyrnensis
Alcedinidae
R
LC
I
1
26
Wire-
tailed
Swallow
Hirundosmithii
Hirundinidae
R
LC
I
10
Terrestrial birds
27
Ashy
Prinia
Priniasocialis
Cisticolidae
R
LC
S
4
28
Bank
Myna
Acridotheresginginia
nus
Sturnidae
R
LC
I
14
29
Black
Drongo
Dicrurusmacrocercus
Dicruridae
R
LC
UK
6
30
Brahminy
Starling
Sturnuspagodarum
Sturnidae
R
LC
UK
3
31
Common
Babbler
Turdoidescaudatus
Timaliidae
R
LC
S
3
32
Common
Tailorbird
Orthotomussutorius
Monarchinae
R
LC
S
4
33
Coppersm
ith Barbet
Megalaimahaemace
phala
Megalaimida
e
R
LC
I
4
34
Eurasian
collared
dove
Streptopeliadecaoct
o
Columbidae
R
LC
I
3
35
Greater
Coucal
Centropussinensis
Cuculidae
R
LC
S
2
36
Green
bee-eater
Meropsorientalis
Meropidae
R
LC
I
7
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1,March 2017
47
37
House
Sparrow
Passer domesticus
Passeridae
R
LC
D
33
38
Indian
House
Crow
Corvussplendens
Corvidae
R
LC
S
19
39
Indian
Robin
Saxicoloidesfulicata
Muscicapidae
R
LC
S
2
40
Jungle
Babbler
Turdoidesstriatus
Timaliidae
R
LC
S
23
41
Jungle
Crow
Corvusmacrorhynch
os
Corvidae
R
LC
S
3
42
Laughing
Dove
Streptopeliasenegal
ensis
Columbidae
R
LC
S
7
43
Purple
Sunbird
Nectariniaasiatica
Nectariniidae
R
LC
S
3
44
Purple-
rumped
Sunbird
Nectariniazeylonica
Nectariniidae
R
LC
S
1
45
Red
Vented
Bulbul
Pycnonotuscafer
Pycnonotidae
R
LC
I
6
46
Rock
Dove
Columba livia
Columbidae
R
LC
D
30
47
Roseringe
d
Parakeet
Psittaculakrameri
Psittacidae
R
LC
I
17
48
Western
Koel
Eudynamysscolopac
ea
Cuculidae
R
LC
S
2
49
White
browed
fantail
Rhipiduraaureola
Rhipiduridae
R
LC
I
3
50
Yellow
wagtail
Moctacillaflava
Motacillidae
M
LC
D
13
R= Resident for Gujarat state; M= Extra-limital Migrants; LC= Least Concern; NT=
Near Threatened; D=Decreasing: I= Increasing; UK= Unknown; S= Stable
WETLANDS OF VADODARA DISTRICT
For Vadodara district, total 1101 wetlands are mapped by SAC (ISRO) including
537 small wetlands (< 2.25 ha) with 35553 ha area. Inland wetlands contribute
98% of the total wetland area and coastal wetlands contribute 2% of the total
wetland area. Major wetland categories of the district are Rivers/streams,
Reservoirs, Tank/ponds and Lakes/ponds.
[Source: National Wetland Atlas: Gujarat State by SAC (2010)]
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1,March 2017
48
Fig 2. 1. Lesser Whistling Duck (
Dendrocygna javanica
) Eurasian Spoonbill (
Platalea
leucorodia
), 2and 3. Little Cormorant (
Microcarbo niger)
, Red-wattled Lapwing
(
Vanellus indicus
), Indian River Tern (
Sterna aurantia
),Asian Openbill (
Anastomus
oscitans
) 4. Little Ringed Plover (
Charadrius dubius
), 5. Common Redshank (
Tringa
tetanus
), Common Sandpiper (
Actitis hypoleucos
) 6. Yellow wagtail (
Moctacilla flava
)
Ankodiya Pond &Black-faced Spoonbill(Platalea minor)
1
2
3
4
5
6
Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881), Vol.7, No.1,March 2017
49
Acknowledgments
The authors wish to thank Gujarat
Ecological Society for providing the
necessary infrastructure and support
for the study. The authors also wish to
extend special thanks to Dr. Deepa
Gavali for her expert guidance and
inputs for this study.
References:
Ali, S. (2002).
The Book of Indian Birds
(13thRevised Edition). Oxford
University Press, New Delhi,
326pp.
Bhandarkar S.V. (2008). Observation on
the avifaunal diversity in and
around Shringarbandh Lake,
Bondgaon( Surban), district Gondia,
Maharashtra. J. curr. Sci. 12 (2):
573-576.
Bibby, C.J., N.D. Burgess and D.A. Hill
(1993).
Bird Census Techiques.
Academic Press Limited,
London, xvii 257pp.
Grimmett, R., C. Inskipp and T. Inskipp
(1999).
Birds of the Indian
Subcontinent
Cristopher Helm
Publishers, Oxford University
Press, 384pp.
National Wetland Atlas (2010). Gujarat,
SAC/RESA/AFEG/NWIA/ATLAS/
21/2010 Space Applications
Centre (ISRO), Ahmedabad,
India, 198p.
Surana, R., Subba, B.R., Limbu, K.P.
(2007). Avian diversity during
rehabilitation stage of Chimdi
Lake, Sunsari, Nepal. Our
Nature, 5: 75-80.
The next issue of Jalaplavit (ISSN 2321-1881) will be published in June 2017 to mark the World
Environment Day--2017. All the wetland admirers are welcome to submit their articles, research papers,
observation notes and pictures pertaining to the wetland biodiversity. They can send any of these inputs
before 10-5-2017 to ketantatu@gmail.com. Jalaplavit is a not-for-profit voluntary activity and it cannot
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provides a platform for it. Your contribution will be a humble effort to express your appreciation for these
most precious and yet most neglected ecosystems-wetlands.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Book
Full-text available
About 526 species of bird species recorded from the Gujarat state, India till August 2004 are listed. Records of the subspecies (where available) are mentioned. Old and new English names with scientific and vernacular names of the birds are also given along with their residential status.
Article
Full-text available
Avian diversity of Chimdi Lake during rehabilitation stage was studied. 109 species of birds belonging to 34 families were recorded. Maximum 64 species were recorded in March 200 4 and 20 species recorded in July 2004.Out of total; bird species 33.94%were migratory, 25.68% were resident, 24.77% were winter visitors and 15.96%were summer visitors. On the basis of abundance, 41.28%were scarce, 22.9 % were occasional, 21.1%were fairly common and 14.6%were common. The Lake area was found to be rich in avian diversity although the Lake was not fully rehabilitated.
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Cetacean–habitat modeling, although still in the early stages of development, represents a potentially powerful tool for predicting cetacean distributions and understanding the ecological processes determining these distributions. Marine ecosystems vary temporally on diel to decadal scales and spatially on scales from several meters to 1000s of kilometers. Many cetacean species are wideranging and respond to this variability by changes in distribution patterns. Cetacean–habitat models have already been used to incorporate this variability into management applications, including improvement of abundance estimates, development of marine protected areas, and understanding cetacean–fisheries interactions. We present a review of the development of cetacean–habitat models, organized according to the primary steps involved in the modeling process. Topics covered include purposes for which cetacean–habitat models are developed, scale issues in marine ecosystems, cetacean and habitat data collection, descriptive and statistical modeling techniques, model selection, and model evaluation. To date, descriptive statistical techniques have been used to explore cetacean–habitat relationships for selected species in specific areas; the numbers of species and geographic areas examined using computationally intensive statistic modeling techniques are considerably less, and the development of models to test specific hypotheses about the ecological processes determining cetacean distributions has just begun. Future directions in cetacean–habitat modeling span a wide range of possibilities, from development of basic modeling techniques to addressing important ecological questions.
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