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All Goa Waterfowl Count
18 Jan 2015
The first All Goa Waterfowl Count (AGWC) was held in two phases, on 18th January 2015 covering North Goa and 25th January 2015 covering South Goa. Teams comprising of expert birders and volunteers covered important wetlands in the two districts of the State on both the days conducting total bird counts. The count started simultaneously at all the selected wetlands on the appointed days. The aim of the AGWC is to systematically conduct surveys of wetlands of importance in the state which are host for migratory bird populations and to understand the the waterfowl population of the state at a base level.
The All Goa Waterfowl Count 2015 concluded with a total of 22 hours of observations being made throughout the state, 15.5 hours in North Goa and 6.5 hours in South Goa. An overall summary of the results is presented below.
Table 1. Summary of Results
Minutes of Observation
Complete lists Submitted
The count was conducted in the two districts and the distributions of parameters in these two districts are shown below.
Fig. 2 Distribution of Species Count and Effort from sites in two districts of Goa
Table 2. Wetlands Covered in North Goa District
Name of Wetland
Hours of effort
Carambolim Lake and Surrounding
Carambolim- Dhado Wetland Complex
St. Cruz Wetland
Table 3. Wetlands Covered in South Goa District
Name of Wetland
Hours of effort
Maina- Raia Wetland
Church Lake- Curtorim
Maitolle Lake- Maina
Table 4 provides the list of the Threatened species as per IUCN classification recorded during the census. Except the Eurasian Curlew and Pallid Harrier which are both Near Threatened species, all other threatened birds associated with wetlands which have been previously reported from the state have been recorded during the census.
Table 4. Red Data Species reported from AGWC 2015
IUCN Status 2014
Woolly-necked Stork | Ciconia episcopus
Cansaulim Wetland, Batim Lake, Bhatulem-Taligaon, St. Cruz Wetland, Carambolim Lake, Divar Island, Calvim, Shirgaon
Lesser Adjutant | Leptoptilos javanicus
Neura Wetland, Carambolim- Dhado Wetland, Talaulim
Greater Spotted Eagle | Clanga clanga
Batim Lake, Carambolim- Dhado Wetland, Shirgaon
Indian Spotted Eagle | Clanga hastata
Maina- Raia Wetland, Batim Lake,
Black-headed Ibis | Threskiornis melanocephalus
Neura Wetland, Carambolim- Dhado Wetland, St.Cruz-Merces Wetland, Navelim Wetland, Calvim, Shirgaon
River Tern | Sterna aurantia
Macazana Lake, Maitolle Lake- Maina, Church Lake- Curtorim, Carambolim- Dhado Wetland, Raibandar, Amthane Lake
Oriental Darter | Anhinga melanogaster
Church Lake- Curtorim, Velsao Wetland, Talaulim, Carambolim Lake
Painted Stork | Mycteria leucocephala
Carambolim- Dhado Wetland, Navelim Wetland
Black-tailed Godwit | Limosa limosa
Carambolim- Dhado Wetland
(VU- Vulnerable; NT- Near Threatened; R- Resident; M- Migrant)
The Woolly-necked Stork (VU) was recorded from eight of the 23 wetlands surveyed while Black-headed Ibis (NT) and River Tern (NT) were recorded from six of the 23 wetlands surveyed. Of the 23 wetlands, only Carambolim Lake has been designated as an Important Bird Area in Goa (IN-GA-02) till date.
Fig. 3: Bar Graph showing Species Diversity across Wetlands of Goa
Fig. 4: Bar Graph showing Bird Population (Total Count) across Wetlands of Goa
The above two charts give a fairly good idea of the status of the different wetlands across the state. The Carambolim- Dhado Wetland Complex in North Goa seems to have good species diversity with 85 species (Total Count) reported from the site, while Navelim Wetland in North Goa seems to hold a good bird population (2238 individuals), majority of them being waterbirds.
The Indian Pond Heron (Ardeola grayii) and Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) were found to be the most common resident birds of wetlands across the state, with these species being reported from 19 of the 23 wetlands surveyed, while the resident Lesser Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna javanica) with 1229 individuals being counted across Goa from 12 sites, seem to have a good population. In the past though there are records of single sites holding more than 2000 individuals of the Lesser Whistling-Duck. Heinz Lainer estimates that in the year 2011, 35,000 individuals were present in and around Curtorim alone.
Among the migrants, the raptor Eurasian Marsh-Harrier (Circus aeruginosus) was recorded from 12 of the 23 wetlands surveyed while the Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca) seems to have a good population this year with 1377 individuals recorded from five wetlands. Heinz Lainer has reported 1,200 individuals in the past from Curtorim Wetland while this year Navelim Wetland holds more than 1000 individuals of the Green-winged Teal.
Below, a list of the most common birds recorded during the census of the wetlands in Goa is given. It is interesting to note that most of the common birds are resident birds.
Table 5. List of ten most common birds in the wetlands across Goa
% of Sites
Indian Pond-Heron | Ardeola grayii
Brahminy Kite | Haliastur indus
Little Egret | Egretta garzetta
Red-wattled Lapwing | Vanellus indicus
Intermediate Egret | Mesophoyx intermedia
Little Cormorant | Phalacrocorax niger
White-throated Kingfisher | Halcyon smyrnensis
Black Drongo | Dicrurus macrocercus
Black Kite | Milvus migrans
Eastern/Western Cattle Egret | Bubulcus ibis
The most interesting records from the AGWC 2015 are the sightings of the Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) at Carambolim-Dhado Wetland Complex and the Eurasian Wigeon (Anas Penelope) at Batim Lake. The Pied Avocet was reported for the first time by GBCN member, Paresh Gosavii in 2012 from Carambolim- Dhado Wetland Complex and was a new record for Goa then. After a year’s (2013) gap, the Pied Avocet has visited the State again. The Eurasian Wigeon on the other hand was once a very regular winter visitor to the state but in recent years their sightings have reduced. Till 2001 Carambolim Lake was the most frequented spot but in recent years the Wigeons frequent the Curtorim Lake more often (Lainer & Alvarez, 2014).
List of Participants:
Harshada Gauns, Vibha Dicholkar, Kanak Bakre, Rajat Bakre, Vedant Kumbhar, Pronoy Baidya, Prithvi Amonkar, Manoj Gawas , Bosco D’souza, Aditya Watve, Bhakti Salgaonkar, Geetanjali Ravindran, Ronit Dutta, Marvelyn Dias, Satish Thayapurath, Nitin Naik, Lloyd Fernandes, Serafim Lourenco, Venessa Lourenco, Anne Claire Ketteringham, Byron Dias, Vedang Saunt, Conrad Pinto, Eveny Luis, Mandar Bhagat, Gracy Michael, Deepak Bowalkar, Neeraj Amarnani, Nivedan Amarnani, Naivedya Amarnani, Nihar Madkaiker, Omkar Naik, Saish Borkar, Viola Rodrigues, Prince Icston DaCruz and Deepankar Ghosh
Lainer, H., &Alvares, R., 2013. Birds of Goa. Goa, India: The Goa Foundation & Department of Forests, Goa. Pp. i–x, 1–240.