A bit of birding around India with Ian Enlander and What happened to the ducks? The mysterious decline of the Lough Neagh diving ducks – by Irena Tománková
Ian Enlander relates this tale of an extended journey around India. His travels included visits to conservation sites and nature reserves, and he also managed to take in some of the major cultural highlights of this incredible country. Although birds were certainly targeted, Ian also encountered a range of land mammals and reptiles. He even made time to ‘do’ some cetacean watching, and ‘ticked off’ several new species including some on the IUCN Red List of endangered species.
Ian commenced his journey in the remarkable backwater wetlands of Kerala. He then travelled from the hot lowlands to the freezing cold of the high eastern Himalayas. In Sikkim he walked through snow draped rhododendron forests, and at lower altitude experienced the fabulously diverse birdlife of the temperate scrub. His final stop was in the Bay of Bengal, at the enormous brackish wetland complex of Chilika – the largest coastal lagoon in India and the second largest in the world. In his talk Ian will try to convey some of the magic that is India.
Our second guest speaker, Irena Tománková, is completing her PhD study at QUB on the causes of diving duck population declines on Lough Neagh. In the 1980s and 1990s the Lough hosted numbers in excess of 100,000 waterbirds including significant populations of diving ducks such as Pochard, Tufted duck, Scaup and Goldeneye. However, in the winter of 2000/01 the populations of diving ducks crashed.
Irena will summarise some of the results of her studies, explaining how she investigated site-related factors such as trophic changes and food resource availability, and explain the wider role of migratory short-stopping as she attempts to answer the question... “What happened to the ducks?”
Admission to CBO winter meetings at the Ulster Museum is free and open to all.
The meetings commence at 7.30 pm, and finish at 9.30 pm.
Please use the Stranmillis Road entrance.