At least four kingfisher species are thriving in the Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary in Andhra Pradesh, adding beauty to the precious eco-region in India.
The four have been documented and photographed by a team of Wildlife Management Division, Eluru, under the aegis of wetland expert Allaparthi Appa Rao.
The Forest Department team has stumbled upon them across the KWL during its field visits as a part of the fauna survey that is in progress. The species have been identified as White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis), Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis), Black-capped Kingfisher (Halcyon pileate) and the Common Kingfisher.
In India, it is learnt that 12 species can be sighted. The four sighted in the sanctuary are ‘wetland dependents’. The wetland ecosystem is the prime attraction for them,” says Sathiya Selvam, ornithologist and Senior Scientist, Bombay Natural History Society. The conservation status of the four species is “least concern”. The birds are thriving as the sanctuary is an ideal habitation for prey. The hunting of the fish by them in the serene backwaters surrounded by the lush green mangrove cover is a moment to capture and witness.
“In the world of Fishing Cat that also thrives in the sanctuary, documenting the hunting behaviour of the kingfisher species is the most celebrated task. The birds appear in myriad colours,” Mr Appa Rao told The Hindu. Comparatively, the birds could be sighted in good number than the Green-bee eater. The wildlife authorities are producing a video documentary on the beauty of the sanctuary including the flora and fauna, highlighting the conservation methods including the mangrove restoration initiative. The survey on the fauna will help design a bird-voice responsive system proposed by the Forest Department.