The long distant, transcontinental migration of shorebirds entails many well identified costs in terms of time, energy, and direct mortality risk. Injuries from debris or from human structures and activities were observed as the major reasons for the direct mortality of shorebirds during migration worldwide. We recorded injured birds in major coastal wetlands of Kerala, for a period of 15 years from 2005 to 2019. The injured birds were observed in 9 different sites in various districts of Kerala. The highest instances of injuries were observed in Kadalundi-Vallikunnu Community Reserve, the major wintering and stop over site of migrant shorebirds in the west coast of India. During the study period, fifty-eight individuals of shorebirds belonging to four families were found to be injured. The highest proportion of injuries was recorded among the families Scolopacidae and Charadriidae comprising long distance migrant shorebird species and the lowest among Laridae and Ardeidae. We recommend that environmental authorities pay special attention to minimize anthropogenic debris along the flyways used by migratory birds thereby reducing the risk of injuries to some of these species. Proactive measures such as removal of discarded fishing gear or plastic debris from wintering areas as well as stopover areas could greatly reduce injuries in migratory birds arising from anthropogenic sources.
- Anthropogenic impacts
- Coastal zone
- Long-distance migrants
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)