Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus is a very common bird seen on the periphery of Kurukshetra-Thanesar, twin towns, in agriculture fields. Last 28 years of keen observations reveal the fast coming up threats to its populations. The current populations are a quarter only of the level that existed in 1980s. Most visible threat has been caused by HUDA (Haryana Urban Development Authority). It has virtually converted the peripheral agriculture fields in Kurukshetra into so called HUDA-Sectors -new Human dwelling places with ultra modern civic amenities with vast open space with no protection or peace for lapwing populations- diminishing its populations to the present deplorable position. It has been observed to segregate into very strong male-female pairs during breeding season which embarks upon with respect to the first or second week of April, culminating in nest building and laying of eggs in the 4 th week of April through May and 4 th week of June. Juveniles were seen first in May last week. A total of 25 nests of the bird were surveyed in the breeding season during April to July 2010. The clutch size ranged from 3-4. Out of 25 nests surveyed, 13 nests were having 4 eggs each and 11 nests 3 eggs as in 2010. Also, only one nest was found with two eggs. Further, in all 87 eggs were laid in 25 nests, out of which 53 eggs hatched successfully. The eggs were mosaic colored with pied patterns- a measure of “Camouflaging” to evade attack of predators including Common Pariah Kite Milvus migrans, House Crow Corvus splendens, Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis and Stray dogs. Eggs on ground always confronted a threat from pedestrians.
Dwindling Red-wattled Lapwing populations, Threats, Kurukshetra, Natural history
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