The iconic Black-Necked Stork (BNS; Lat. Phippiorhynchus asiaticus), categorised as a near-threatened species and on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), has successfully bred in the Wadhwana wetlands, part of the Jambughoda Wildlife Sanctuary, in Dabhoi, Vadodara. This was recorded after eight years of failed attempts by the storks in the wetland, recognised by the Ramsar Convention as a wetland of international importance in April 2021. It is part of the Kevadiya wildlife circle.
Uday Vora, former Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer and chief conservator of forests (CCF) with the Gujarat forest department, has been observing a pair of BNS at Wadhwana since 2012. However, no
chick or juvenile had been recorded in this time. On his visit to Wadhwana on December 9, Vora observed a juvenile foraging with its parents in the wetland. “This is the first record of successful breeding of BNS in Dabhoi,” Vora said in a webinar on Friday.
Aradhna Sahu, chief conservator of forest (CCF) of the Kevadiya wildlife circle, confirmed Vora’s sighting and said, “Our staff have been sighting the BNS pair with a chick for some time. This is the first time in recent years that we are seeing a BNS chick in Wadhwana.”
In Gujarat, the Black-Necked Stork is seen at the Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary, near Jamnagar city, and the Marine National Park, spread along the coast of Jamnagar and Devbhumi Dwarka. The species has been breeding successfully in Khijadiya as well as in the coastal wetland areas. Birdwatchers consider this a rare bird due to its small population in the state.