The strange case of the Indian skimmer

Source: The post is based on the article “The strange case of the Indian skimmerpublished in The Hindu on 14th November 2022

What is the News?

Recently, Indian skimmer was seen in huge flocks during winter in Coringa wildlife sanctuary (Kakinada).

What is an Indian Skimmer?
Indian Skimmer
Source: Wikipedia

Indian skimmer or Indian scissors-bill (Rynchops albicollis) is one of the three species that belong to the skimmer genus Rynchops in the family Laridae. 

IUCN Status: Endangered

Features: A thick, orange-yellow bill with a slightly longer lower mandible (jaw) is one of the most striking features of the Indian skimmer.

Habitat: More widespread in winter, the Indian skimmer is found in the coastal estuaries of western and eastern India.

– About 20% of the total population of Indian Skimmer nests along river Chambal. Villagers here call it pancheraa, that which tears water.

Threats: a) Degradation of wetland and riverine habitats and b) the damming of the Chambal River, in upstream Rajasthan, has adversely affected its population.

Initiatives: In 2020, the Bombay Natural History Society(BNHS) initiated a ‘Guardians of the Skimmer’ programme, which is a community-based conservation initiative.

– BNHS in collaboration with Bird Count India has also initiated the ‘Indian Skimmer Count’-a a citizen science initiative.

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