• P-ISSN 0974-6846 E-ISSN 0974-5645

Indian Journal of Science and Technology


Indian Journal of Science and Technology

Year: 2021, Volume: 14, Issue: 19, Pages: 1545-1553

Original Article

Waterbird Density and Habitat Utilisation Pattern in Wular Lake, Kashmir, India

Received Date:30 September 2020, Accepted Date:24 November 2020, Published Date:29 May 2021


Background: Understanding abundance, diversity and density of waterbird species along with detailed description of habitat utilization pattern is significant to understand species ecology and consequently for management and conservation. Waterbird density and their utilisation pattern of different habitats in Wular lake was investigated during study period from 2017-2019. Methods: Population estimation of waterbirds was carried out by point count and line transect method. Length of the transect varied from 50-100 meters. Waterbird density was estimated using Reynolds formula in a circular plot. Radius of circle varied from 45- 50 meters. Pattern of habitat utilisation was calculated by Ivlev’s index. Findings: Twenty-five (25) species of waterbirds belonging to eighteen (18) genera, seven families (7) and six orders (6) were recorded. Mean population of 628193874.20 during mid-winter and 420.58142.10 individuals during post winter was observed. Mean density of 810.81387.3 birds ha-1 during mid-winter and 71.291.33 birds ha-1 during post winter was recorded. Of all the habitats, open water had highest waterbird density (630.3258.32 birds ha-1) while as paddy fields had lowest waterbird density (0.440.08 birds ha-1) during mid-winter. During post winter also open water habitat was the most densely populated habitat (30.24.85 birds ha-1) but marshes were least densely populated habitat (0.410.05 birds ha-1) during this season. Open water habitat was most preferred habitat and peatlands the most avoided one. Variation in densities among different habitats was statistically significant (p<0.05). Novelty: Anthropogenic threats like agricultural conversion, habitat degradation and pollution greatly affect the utilisation of different habitats by waterbirds. Knowledge indicating the density and diversity of waterbirds along with their preference and avoidance towards different habitats will help in managing those habitats as well as framing conservation policies for survival of waterbirds inhabiting them.

Keywords: Habitat utilisation; Density; Population; Ramsar; Waterbirds; Wetlands; Wular


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© 2021 Wani et al.This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Published By Indian Society for Education and Environment (iSee)


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