Vol. 4, Issue 6 (2019)
Conservation of the Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis in southern India
Author(s): Vaithianathan Kannan
Abstract: The Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis is one of the most threatened of the seven species of pelicans in the world. I carried out the surveys and studies on the species in southern India with the funding support of Ministry of Environment and Forests from May 2000 to 2003 and in 2004 the Important Bird Areas of the Bombay Natural History Society supported the survey. I estimated the population of pelican is of almost 2850-3700 birds in southern India, which is double that of the earlier estimates. Population estimates were largely based on total counts of birds in breeding grounds and counts of large congregations at rest and roost sites, and foraging birds. In southern India I found there were five/six active breeding population either regular/occasional. The population of pelican in southern India is now increasing. The future of nesting colonies of the Spot-billed Pelican that are located in protected areas appears safe when looked in isolation. However the breeding success is dependent on food supplies; their future will only be assured if their foraging grounds are in good health. However, their foraging grounds are under multitude of increasing pressures, if not addressed now, could result in decline of the species. A number of conservation measures have been forwarded in through this study for the conservation of Spot-billed Pelican in southern India.
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