Indore: First ever survey of birds at Sardarpur Kharmore Sanctuary was conducted by forest department with bird experts from across the state. The group of experts from Wildlife Warriors identified 81 species of birds in the sanctuary, many which were not usually spotted in the area.
Sardarpur Sanctuary is known for some spotting of Lesser Florican, an endangered species. Lesser Florican is also known as the likh or kharmore, is the smallest in the bustard family and the only member of the genus Sypheotides.
Madhya Pradesh government is working on denotification of 318 sq km area from the sanctuary. The Sanctuary currently encloses area up to 348 sq. km.
Farmers of Sardarpur have long been demanding that their fields be removed from the confines of the sanctuary. The sanctuary was formed by incorporating this private land, but Lesser Florican has not been seen in these farms for a long time.
The use of pesticides in farms and often farmer’s unwelcome forced the endangered species away from the sanctuary.
Farmers are not contributing much to their protection and have constantly been demanding to get the fields out of the protected area. As sanctuary rules applied that farmers cannot sell and buy these farms.
The hope of survival of these species and return of Lesser Florican might be higher with farmer’s friendlier behaviour.
Rare species in the area
In the bird survey, bird experts including Shrikant Kalamkar from Indore documented presence of 81 species of birds in the sanctuary. “The sanctuary is protected haven for birds and birds are essential to our ecosystem, especially if we intent to keep the state from losing its cool and fresh air,” he said.
He explained that when birds travel, they take the seeds they have eaten with them and disperse them through their droppings. “They bring plants back to ecosystems that have been destroyed, and even carry plants across the sea to new land masses. Birds have helped to shape the plant life we see around us – and around the world,” Kalamkar said.
In the survey, 24 volunteers including Swapnil Phanse, Ritesh Khabia, Kaustubh Rishi, Arvind Yadav and Akhil Hardia shared their expertise.
Some rare species spotted in the sanctuary
· Red-necked Falcon,
· Montagu's harrier
· Pallid harrier
· Siberian stonechat
· Paddyfield pipit
· Eurasian Collared-Doves
· Common kestral female
· Short toed snake eagle
· Indian rollar