Birdlife monitoring in Kole lands: A habitat based evaluation system for waterbird and wetland conservation
Monitoring is needed both to assess the effectiveness of conservation measures and to provide caution of impending problems. A standard framework that can be effectively used to compile data at the sub-regional, regional and global levels is being exploited by Wetlands International to coordinate Asian Waterbird Census, which monitor the status of waterbirds and wetlands. Kole wetlands form a highly threatened habitat which provides multiple services to society. Palakkal kole of Thrissur, a Ramsar site, is a unique highly productive ecosystem which supports large population of resident and migratory birds. Asian Waterbird Census-2016 reported 3797 birds of thirty species from Palakkal. Charadriiformes and Pelecaniformes were the most represented groups. Ciconia episcopus, a bird with vulnerable status was recorded from the area. Anhinga melanogaster, Threskiornis melanocephalus and Mycteria leucocephala found in the area belong to near threatened category. Ten species recorded from the area were trans-continental migrants. Mycteria leucocephala evaluated earlier as a vagrant visitor to the area was seen in large numbers during this survey. Porphyrio poliocephalus was seen in hundreds. Microcarbo niger, Anastomus oscitans and Nettapus coromandelianus were well represented.