JORHAT, Jan 12 - Giving a clear indication of the rich avian biodiversity of several wetlands of Jorhat district, migratory birds of South-East Asian countries named glossy ibis (scientifically known as Plegadis falcinellus) have started descending on the wetlands of Neamati and Majuli for past few weeks which recently drew attention of ornithologists and other visitors to those rarely frequented areas.
Locals said that they had spotted a �new kind of black birds� in the Sarala Beel in such big numbers for the first time which was a rare incident. As the birds got their food in their nearby wetlands like Borsorola Beel, Potia Beel, they started descending on all the wetlands of Neamati every morning.
Several natives of Dakhinpat, Kamalabari, Garmur area of river-island Majuli said that they believed the glossy ibis to be a migratory bird which would cause problems for the food and habitat of local birds like herons.
However, asked about its habitats and any of its possible threat to the local birds, ornithologists opine that the rising number of glossy ibis has a resident-breeding population in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Maldives and it will not harm any local bird.
�In Majuli and nearby areas where healthy wetlands are found, large flock of ibis are recorded. Sometimes migration from South Indian States namely from Tamil Nadu and Kerala also recorded during winter, so more population have been seen,� said Dr Prabal Saikia, principal scientist of Agricultural Ornithology of Assam Agricultural University. �We should conserve Sarala Beel of Neamati,� he said.
Stressing the importance of conservation of those enriched wetlands of Jorhat, an assistant professor of Assam Women�s University, Suryya Kumar Chetia (who has keen interest in wild-life photography), said that authority concerned should take up necessary initiatives to stop encroachment in wetlands.
It is pertinent to be mentioned here that neither the Sarala Beel nor any of its nearby wetlands in Neamati and Majuli have been conserved properly by the government authority though several incidents of killing of migratory birds were reported in the past.