A new species of -- Sykes's Nightjar -- has been spotted for the first time in Bangladesh showing a change in its distribution range.
Sykes's Nightjar (Caprimulgus mahrattensis), is a semi-desert species of bird, is generally seen in the range of Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and some parts of India.
But, a joint bird survey of IUCN Bangladesh and Bangladesh Birds Club recently spotted six Sykes's Nightjars at a shoal (Char) of Padma River.
‘We're conducting our bird survey as in previous years at Chars of the Padma River in Rajshahi during February 6-12 last, and we found six Sykes's Nightjars there. It was never seen in Bangladesh in the past,’ IUCN bird investigator ABM Sarwar Alam told UNB.
Four ornithologists -- Matt Prior, Dean Ria, Stephen Samwort and Bill Jones - of British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), a bird research charity in the United Kingdom-- took part in the survey.
Matt Prior said nightjars are extremely scarce in Bangladesh and so any species would be noteworthy.
‘This bird turned out to be a Sykes Nightjar which is a semi-desert species from west of the subcontinent, this bird is well over a thousand miles outside of the previously known range and is the first for Bangladesh,’ he said on his recent Facebook post.
The nightjars have taken shelters on the grassland of Padma's Chars, Sarwar Alam said, adding that they caught a 21-centimeter-long nightjar by nets during their survey and released it to the nature after collecting its sample and ringing the bird for further research.
He said Sykes's Nightjar is a semi-desert species, but it is found in shoals of Padma River, which indicates that its distribution rage is extended up to Gangetic flood-prone area.
‘We need further investigation to know why Sykes's Nightjars have started preparing to stay in Padma's Chars despite being a semi-desert bird,’ the IUCN bird investigator said.
According to the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Sykes's Nightjar is least concerned bird species. This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for vulnerable under the range size criterion. The population trend of the bird appears to be stable, but its population size has not been quantified.
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