Mangaluru, Oct 28, 2015: The Coastal Karnataka Bird Watchers’ Network and the College of Fisheries, Mangaluru, conducted the survey. Shivashankar, who was a part of the survey, said that this was the first instance of sighting a rare bird; A pelagic bird, normally seen in deep sea, of a Jouanin’s Petrel for the first time in the region.
These birds breed during SW monsoon (May to September) and are found off the Socotra archipelago in Yemen, where a breeding colony was discovered recently. The colony was estimated to nest on mainland cliffs, off the Halaaniyaat islands in southern Oman. Not much research, however, has been carried out on the other places where they breed.
A group of 16 bird watchers from different states had taken part in the 10-hour long survey that commenced at Mangaluru Old Port. The bird watchers went into the deep sea to conduct the survey. The pelagic birds sighted during the survey are the Masked Booby, Flesh-footed shearwater, Wilson’s Storm Petrel, Swinhoe’s Storm Petrel, Arctic Skua, Unid’ed Skua, Birdled Tern and Jouanin’s Petrel (Bulweria fallax).
Shivashankar said that, in comparison to the last year’s survey, the density of birds was found to have reduced, which reflects a decline in fish population in sea water. It could also be due to the rough weather we had to face when we set out on the survey and due to the water pollution and excessive fishing during the fish breeding seasons.
The bird watchers, accompanied by the students of the College of Fisheries, have been conducting a pelagic bird survey annually for the last five years. The group has carried out more than one survey in the 2011-13 period.
The bird watchers who were part of the team are Shashankar Dalvi, Ramit Singhal, Raghavendra Hinde, Gopal Krishna Baliga, Aravinda Kudla, Mohith Shenoy, Venkatesh Prasad, Shashikanth, Dhanya, Mohanram Kemparaju, Dr Paveen Eshwarappa, Dinesh, Harshith J V, Shishir, Gautham Krishna, Karthik Korapanahalli and Shivashankar. The bird watchers thanked Hanumanthappa, professor at the College of Fisheries, for helping in making the survey a success.