Foraging ecology and conservation of waders along coast of India: Need for detailed studies


153 – 159

1 September 15

Abdul Jamil Urfi


Abdul Jamil Urfi
Department of Environmental Studies, University of Delhi, New Delhi 110007, India


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India has a long coastline with habitats as diverse as mangroves, swamps, coral reefs, open beaches and estuaries that are used by migrating or wintering waders. Ten species of globally threatened or near-threatened species of waders have been recorded from India. Of these, Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa and Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata have been recorded in large numbers from different sites (meeting the 1% criterion of global importance) in India. Other threatened species occurring in India in internationally significant numbers are Asian Dowitcher Limnodromus semipalmatus, Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarious, Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmeus, Nordmann’s Greenshank Tringa guttifer and Beach Thick-knee Esacus magnirostris. Conversion of land for development projects, pollution, disturbance and impending dangers of habitat loss due to sea level rise are some of the major threats to wader populations. A literature survey shows that very few recent studies have been undertaken in India on the diets or foraging ecology of waders, in spite of the considerable popular interest in observing and counting waders by amateur birdwatchers. The few studies on foraging that have been published are mostly descriptive in nature. Conservation action can be better targeted and more effective when the habitat use and feeding ecology of endangered wader species are understood. Therefore more in-depth studies to understand the ecological interactions between waders and their prey are urgently required. In this respect, research institutes and universities are well-placed to make significant contributions by initiating new research