Meet Ferruginous Pochard. It may sound like somebody straight out of the pages of a Dickens novel, or a teacher at Hogwarts. In actual fact, it’s a type of beautiful but near-threatened duck – one that FreshWater Watch data could help to protect in Delhi, India.
Also known as the fudge duck, this waterfowl is a deep chestnut colour, and can be found in marshes and lakes across eastern and southern Europe, and southern and western Asia, branching out to Africa in winter.
The Okhla Bird Sanctuary on the Yamuna River, Delhi, is a key habitat for the duck, along with vulnerable Baer’s Pochard, Indian Skimmer and Bristled Grassbird, and five other near-threatened species.
However, the number of migratory birds visiting the site has declined massively over the last decade, from about 10,000 to only 3,000-4,000. It is thought that increasing human impact upon the area and in particular, decreasing water quality in the river due to pollution, may be one of the key reasons for the loss of bird numbers.
The goal of the FreshWater Watch study in Delhi is to provide information that will help to inform the management and future conservation of the Okhla Bird Sanctuary. The FreshWater Watch team are collecting water quality data, historic and contemporary bird records and comparing the site to another, cleaner stretch of the river at the Wazirabad Barrage, located upstream from Delhi.
The core research of Freshwater Watch is universal to every project, but each location has local parameters too depending on local challenges, as can be seen here in Delhi.
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Next time: G is for Going, Going… Gone?
A is for Alien Invasions; B is for the Biggest!; C is for Crickets in your lunchbox; D is for Data. Or is it datum?; E is for Eighty Litres of Water in an Orange; F is for Ferruginous Pochard; G is for Going, Going, Gone?; H is for Heroes; I is for Industrial Revolution; J is for Jigsaw Puzzles; K is for (Everything including the) Kitchen Sink; L is for Life itself; M is for Microbeads; N is for Namedropping