migratory birds Current Affairs - 2020

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GoI released Draft Visionary Perspective Plan (2020-30) to Conserve Avian Ecosystem ahead of CMS COP-13

Ahead of the Conservation of Migratory Species Conference of Parties-13 (CMS COP-13), the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has introduced a draft Visionary Perspective Plan (2020-2030) to conserve ecosystems, habitats, avian diversity and landscapes in the country.

Visionary Perspective Plan (2020-2030)

  • According to the draft, there are 1,317 bird species in India. Out of these 72 are endemic, 100 are threatened, 17 are critically endangered, 63 are vulnerable and 20 are endangered. Around 270 species of avifauna fall under “rare” category. It includes pheasants, hornbills, bustards, storks and cranes.
  • The birds are prone to extinction mainly due to poaching, fragmentation of ecosystem, habitat loss and epidemics. The draft also says that stray dog population has increased due to catastrophic decline in population of vultures.
  • The draft says that around 219 bird bio-diversity areas are under severe anthropogenic pressure.
  • The draft also says that 2,01,503 wetlands spread across 2.25 hectares in India are under stress. This is mainly due to agricultural run-offs and urbanization.

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Avian Botulism-Reason behind birds’ death in Sambhar Lake

The Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) on November 21, 2019, confirmed that a neuro muscular illness called Avian Botulism is the reason for mass mortality of migratory birds in Sambhar Lake in Rajasthan. The doctors say that the birds were suffering from Avian Botulism that was caused due to a toxin produced by bacterial strain.

On November 12, 2019, thousands of migratory birds died in Sambhar lake that sent shock waves throughout the country.

Key Findings

The IVRI confirmed that the mass death was caused by the bacteria Clostriduim botulinum. The bacteria affected the nervous system of the birds that led to flaccid paralysis in their wings and legs. Over 18,000 carcasses were removed from the lake. The samples had varied stages of maggots by which scientists confirm that the mortality has occurred over a period of time.

Clostridium botulinum

According to WHO, Clostridium botulinum is the bacteria that produces dangerous toxins when the oxygen conditions are low. They lead to muscular paralysis blocking nerve functions. The bacteria cause 4 types of botulism namely infant botulism, wound botulism, foodborne botulism and inhalation botulism. Homemade, fermented and preserved foods are common sources of foodborne botulism.

The bacteria are common in improperly processed foods. They are heat-resistant and germinate and grow in the absence of oxygen and excrete toxins.

WHO on Botulism

The World Health Organization supports and strengthens national and international surveillance on the local outbreak of the disease through the program INFOSAN. INFOSAM is International Network of Food Safety Authorities. The organization links the food safety authorities at national level with FAO and WHO. It includes actions against the spread of botulism as well.

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