STATUS AND DISTRIBUTION OF AQUATIC BIRDS ASSOCIATED TO WETLANDS OF UJANI RESERVOIR, MAHARASHTRA, INDIA
The present study deals with the diversity and distribution of water birds at the wetlands of Ujani Reservoir from Solapur district. Fifteen different study sites were selected from the periphery of Ujani Water reservoir and study was carried out for the period of two years. During the study period the checklist of the water birds was prepared individually from all the study sites. The investigation revealed that 81 aquatic birds belonging 59 genus, 11 orders and 23 families were recorded. Throughout the study sites Scolopacidae was recorded as dominant family. The study also included the classification based on the feeding guilds, abundance, IUCN status, microhabitats and migratory status. According to feeding guilds near about 36% were carnivores, 25% were omnivores, 9% were insectivores, 6% were piscivores, and 5% were herbivores. On the basis of microhabitat, some of the birds’ strictly preferred single microhabitat; few of them preferred dual microhabitat while remaining has recorded multiple microhabitats. The niche selection study revealed that 5 species were divers, 15 species were swimmers, 19 species were large waders, 27 species were small waders and 15 were areal foragers. However, on the basis of migratory status, 26 species were resident, 19 were migratory and 36 were resident migratory. Moreover, 76 species were Least Concerned, 6 were Near Threatened, 2 were Vulnerable and 1 species as Endangered as per the IUCN red list data. On the basis of the present study, it can be concluded that the distribution of birds among various sites has shown considerable variation. The variation might be due the availability of food, level of human interference and also level of water.
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