IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


14th November, 2022 Environment

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Context:  Indian skimmer is seen in huge flocks during winter in Coringa wildlife sanctuary (Kakinada).



  • A thick, orange-yellow bill with a slightly longer lower mandible (jaw) is one of the most striking features of the Indian skimmer (Rynchops albicollis).
  • The Indian skimmer grows to a length of 40-43 cm.
  • More widespread in winter, the Indian skimmer is found in the coastal estuaries of western and eastern India.
  • It occurs primarily on larger, sandy, lowland rivers, around lakes and adjacent marshes and, in the non-breeding season, in estuaries and coasts.
  • About 20% of the total population of fewer than 2,500 birds nest along river Chambal.
  • Its population is declining primarily because of the degradation of wetland and riverine habitats.
  • IUCN: Endangered
  • In 2020, Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) have initiated a ‘Guardians of the Skimmer’ programme, which is a community-based conservation initiative.
  • BNHS in collaboration with Bird Count India have also initiated ‘Indian Skimmer Count’-a citizen science initiative.