Introduction: What conservation problem or question does your study address?It is an attempt to understand the diversity of aquatic birds and their preferential feeding, roosting and nesting sites at Bhadalwadi lake. It is in view of conservation of the niche habitat, thereby conservation of birds. It is one of the major breeding sites and a satellite lake of Ujjani reservoir which is a potential contender of Ramsar sites and is in a great neglect. The primary data is linked with international norms to understand the status of the aquatic birds.
Methods: What were the main research methods you used?The survey of wetland birds was conducted at Bhadalwadi lake during 24 months (Apr 2012- Mar 2014). The diversity and abundance study of the birds were carried out using total count method. Birds then classified in various categories based on habitat preference e.g. surface water, sandy areas, mud flats, marshy areas and shallow water fringe areas. The identification of Birds was done by both sight and sound; direct observations were made using binocular of 8 X 40 magnification. Spot identification was done using field guides of Grimmit et al, 2011 and Ali Salim - 2012. Activities of bird were monitored during morning and evening hours. The data then linked with the IUCN Red list to understand the international status of the birds.
Results: What are your most important results?According to preferential utilization of microhabitats; Surface Water 4, Sandy area 4, Mudflat 4, Marshy area 10, Shallow water fringe area 8. Nine birds species were sharing more than one habitat. Three birds species are in IUCN near threatened (NT) category status; those are Painted Stork, Black necked stork, Eurasisan Curlew. In which Painted storks observed most abundant and Eurasian curlew shows very low abundance followed by Black Necked Stork.
Discussion: What are your important discussion points and what is the relevance of your results to conservation (if any)?The present assessment of the aquatic birds reveals that it’s one of the most preferred habitats for birds. Relative abundance of birds ranges from 35 % to 0.06%. It provides breeding ground for Painted Stork which is NT status bird. Different birds occupy various micro habitats. Although this lake it is small in size, potent enough to sustain large population of birds. It is expected that awareness program and complete habitat protection will reduce the impact.