A nematode infestation has led to mass mortality of spot-billed pelicans (Pelicanus philippensis) at Telineelapuram Important Bird Area (IBA) in Naupada swamp of Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh.
About nematode infestation
- In Karnataka, the nematode infestation has started taking a toll on spot-billed pelicans since 2017.
- Aquaculture management practices surrounding the habitat are said to be the source for the parasite.
- The nematode infestation would not spread from one species to another species as per the studies carried out by the experts in Karnataka State.
About Spot-billed pelicans
- The Telineelapuram IBA is the prime winter sojourn for the spot-billed pelican for breeding.
- Telineelapuram Bird Sanctuary is an internationally recognised exotic bird sanctuary for the conservation of rare exotic birds. It is located at a distance of about 5 km from the town of Tekkali.
- The same IBA is also a breeding habitat for the painted stork (Mycteria leucocephala).
- It breeds in southern Asia from southern Iran across India east to Indonesia. It is a bird of large inland and coastal waters, especially large lakes.
- The species is found to breed only in peninsular India, Sri Lanka and in Cambodia. A few birds from India are known to winter in the Gangetic plains but reports of its presence in many other parts of the region such as the Maldives, Pakistan and Bangladesh has been questioned.
- The main habitat is in shallow lowland freshwaters.
- The spot-billed pelican is not migratory but are known to make local movements and are more widely distributed in the non-breeding season.
- IUCN status: Near Threatened
- Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule IV
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