News: A parasitic (nematode) infestation has led to mass deaths of spot-billed pelicans (Pelicanus philippensis) at Telineelapuram which is an important bird area (IBA) in Andhra Pradesh.
About Spot-Billed Pelican
It is a large pale water bird with a hefty pinkish pouched bill marked with dark spots on the upper mandible.
- IUCN Status:Near Threatened
- Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule IV
Note: Under schedule IV, hunting is prohibited, but the penalty for any violation is less compared to the first two schedules.
Habitat: It is a bird of large inland and coastal waters, especially large lakes. The main habitat of the bird is in shallow lowland freshwaters. The bird is found to breed only in peninsular India, Sri Lanka and Cambodia.
Threats: Survival of Spot-billed Pelican birds is threatened by habitation loss due to deforestation, hunting and pollution by pesticides.
Nematode infestation does not spread from one species to another species. But the infestation transfers from the fish, snails, and invertebrates. Since spot-billed pelicans are capable of hunting huge fish from the water bodies and swamps it is vulnerable to infestation.