STATUS AND THREATS OF WATER BIRDS IN AHIRAN LAKE, MURSHIDABAD, WEST BENGAL, INDIA
Wetlands are an important indicator of flora and fauna. Wet land provide habitat, feeding, nesting, and rearing for near about 310 sp of birds in India. Ahiran Lake wetland situated in Murshidabad district, West Bengal, India has recorded 30 species of water birds belonging to 29 genera and 12 families in the month of February 2014 to January 2015. Out of 30 species about 16 were migrants and 14 species residents. The family Anatidae represented by 7 species are dominated; Ardeidae by 5; Rallidae and Scolopacidae by 4; Laridae and Jacanidae by 2; Alcadinidae, Charadridae, Phalacrocoracidae, Anhingidae and Ciconidae by 1 are fewer in number. In case of resident Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis), Lesser Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna javanica), White-breasted Water hen (Amaurornis phoenicurus), Purple Moorhen (Porphyrio porphyrio), Pheasant-tailed Jacana (Hydrophasianus chirurgus) are common and in migratory birds Red-crested Pochard (Rhodonessa rufina), Northern Pintail (Anas acuta), Cotton teal (Nettapus coromandelianus) are abundant species. Migratory birds displayed a definite pattern for arrival and departure from the wetland that is species specific. The peak of winter population of migratory birds was observed during the months of December and February. Numbers of water bird in Ahiran Lake are decreases by several anthropogenic threats, and are affected feeding and breeding habitat of birds.