#GS-03 Biodiversity Conservation
- Scientific Name: Rynchops albicollis.
- IUCN status: Endangered
- Total population: Less than 2,500 birds
- It can be noticed by a thick, orange-yellow bill with a slightly longer lower mandible (jaw) which is a striking feature of the Indian skimmer.
- The Indian skimmer can grow upto a length of 40-43 cm.
- The Indian skimmer is found in the coastal estuaries of western and eastern India however, it is more widespread during winter.
- They are primarily found on larger, sandy, lowland rivers, around lakes and adjacent marshes and, in the non-breeding season, in estuaries and coasts.
- Godavari estuary has become a prime and safe habitat for Indian skimmer.
- Almost 250 Indian Skimmers were seen in the southern part of the Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary.
- About 20% of the total population Indian Skimmer birds nest along river Chambal.
- The decline in its population is primarily due to the degradation of wetland and riverine habitats.
- The damming of the Chambal River, in upstream Rajasthan, has had adverse impact on its population at National Chambal Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh.
- This has been mainly due to the dropping water levels allowing predators and livestock access to breeding islands.
Source “Godavari estuary has become prime habitat for Indian skimmer: expert“