A new census of birds in Hakaluki Haor revealed that the number of birds in the haor has halved compared to last year.
The two-day long census, conducted on February 24 and 25 by International Union for Conservation of Nature and Bangladesh Bird Club, counted birds in 43 beels located in the haor.
A total of 24,551 birds belonging to 48 species were found whereas 40,126 birds belonging to 53 species were counted there in 2020, said the census.
The census noted that Baer’s pochard, a globally critically endangered diving duck, which was seen in last census, was not spotted during the latest census.
The census, however, reported to have spotted black-tailed godwit, a near-threatened large, long-legged, long-billed shorebird.
Bangladesh Bird Club vice-president Tareq Anu said that the biodiversity of the haor is under threat as a result of mass fishing, lifting of water for irrigation and unabated bird hunting.
‘If birds will vanish there will be no fish as bird waste is fish’s food,’ said Tareq.
The birds’ excreta is also essential for the growth of aquatic plants, he added.
Of the 24,551 birds found during the census, 6,472 were ducks belonging to 14 species.
In 2016, the number of local and migratory birds in the haor was found 56,261.
The Department of Forest also assisted in the census.
Hakaluki haor is also one of the largest freshwater wetlands. The haor is consisted of 240 small and large beels and 10 rivers spread over 25,000 hectares.
The haor is home to more than half the total aquatic plants in Bangladesh.
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