The Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) 2017 in Delhi region will start from January 7. This census will be carried out simultaneously in 27 countries from January 7 to 21. For Delhi region, it is planned from January 7 to 9 in wetland sites like Okhla Bird Sanctuary, Surajpur wetland, Najafgarh drain and jheel, stretches of the Yamuna river and Sanjay Lake, and will see participation of more than 15 volunteers.
Last year, the presence of 46 water bird species with a total population of 3,113 was confirmed at the Okhla Bird Sanctuary as part of the Asian Waterbird Census 2016.
With the threat of bird flu in the last few months of 2016, the findings of this census will show the impact, if any, of the H5N8 influenza virus on these birding hotspots. No deaths were reported from these wetland sites, except for Delhi zoo, which still remains under quarantine.