AimLesser adjutant is the largest bird in Sri Lanka. It is threatened due to loss of wetland habitats, increasing post war development and human activities (hunting, collection of eggs, release of pesticides, clearance of mangroves and unawareness). The study aims to find whether the area provides significant nesting sites for these birds and highlight the need for conservation of breeding habitats.
MethodsSites with Lesser adjutant(LA) populations in Eastern province (EP) were identified & abundance, population structure and nesting sites were recorded. Interviews with local community representatives (Farming community, fishermen, and government officials) were carried out. Awareness programs were designed for the local community and school children.
ResultsEP has several localities supporting a significant number of LA including several new and less studied sites (sighting of 17 individuals in Pankulam). Abundance was most in Trincomalee followed by Ampara & Batticoloa districts. More LAs were observed in the dry season comparatively. Significant human impacts (hunting, collecting eggs, releasing pesticides and clearing mangroves) were identified.
ConservationThe study identified many new localities of LA which are under threat due to increasing human activities. Conservation awareness programs explained the importance of LA and its ability to promote ecotourism and increased the protection of LA nesting sites, eggs, community structure and minimized hunting and uncontrolled release of pesticides and highlight the need to declare them as sanctuaries.