A recent detailed assessment of the survey conducted in the northern parts of Alappuzha, as part of the Asian Waterbird Census 2023 revealed that a shift in migration patterns of waterbirds appears to be taking place.



  • In the recent survey, it is revealed that Duck species sighted in previous surveys were missing this time.
  • The most shocking aspect was that duck species like Northern Shoveler, Common teal and Eurasian wigeon, sighted in the previous surveys, were totally missing this time around.


Key facts about the main birds

  • Oriental darter —
    • It is mainly found in freshwater rivers and ponds.
    • Conservation status
    • IUCN: Near Threatened
  • Cattle egret —
    • Conservation status
    • IUCN: Least Concern
  • Spot-billed Pelican —
    • It breeds in southern Asia from southern Iran across India east to Indonesia.
    • Conservation status
    • IUCN: Near Threatened
    • Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule IV


About the ‘Asian Waterbird Census’ –

  • AWC, the largest such census in Asia, is organised by Wetlands International, is an international programme that focuses on monitoring the status of waterbirds and wetlands.
  • The data collected each year is shared by Wetlands International with global conservation organisations such as IUCN and Ramsar Convention, while state coordinators share data with local wildlife departments to ensure conservation and sustainable management of wetlands in the region.
  • It also aims to increase public awareness on issues related to wetland and waterbird conservation.
  • The census is carried out each January as a voluntary activity at national and local level.
  • The AWC is co-ordinated by Wetlands International as part of global programme, the “International Waterbird Census”.
  • The AWC was started in 1987, and many birders were initiated into bird counting and monitoring through this project.