Udupuria Village Pond

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 Location Ecosystem Type   Conservation Type   Area(hectare) Legal status 
 Kota, Rajasthan Wetland Species Protection2 Not Available

Case Study (2009)

Background

Udpuria village pond is situated about 28 km from Kota town of Rajasthan. The village can be approached on Kota–Shyopur road and is 7 kms from Digodh town and 10 km from the Chambal river. The pond covers an area of about 2 ha. The pond is predominantly rain-fed but is also connected to the Right Main Canal of the Chambal river and receives water from it in the summers when the canal is operating. 

The villagers belong to the brahmin, meena, berwa, bawari and nandwana communities and all villagers are completely vegetarian.

The pond is nowadays well-known as a breeding ground for painted storks. According to the villagers these birds have been coming here since 1994. The site was first discovered by two bird watchers, Anil Nair and Akilesh Begri, during the winter birds survey in January 1997. According to the counts in January 1997, the number of young and adult birds was 250.

In addition to painted storks, other birds found in the area include the lesser whistling teal, common coot, purple moorhen, common moorhen, white-breasted waterhen, cotton teal, northern pintail, northern shoveller, Eurasian wigeon, spotbilled duck, red-wattled lapwing, black-winged stilt, white-breasted kingfisher, black ibis, stone curlew, Indian peafowl and black-necked stork. Babul, tamarind, banyan, peepal and neem are some of the tree species found here.

In 1997, when the bird-watchers found the pond, it had a small patch of water hyacinth. In subsequent years 90 percent of the pond was covered by the hyacinth. In 1998, 29 pairs made nests here, but as the pond was largely covered with hyacinth only 7 pairs raised their families here while the rest left the site.

In the summer of 1999 a local NGO (Hadothi Naturalists Society) along with the villagers took up the task of manually removing the hyacinth. The members of the NGO explained to the villagers about cleaning the pond and the reasons for this. A few villagers agreed to join the cleaning drive, as they were also facing problems while bathing, washing clothes and accessing water for cattle due to the spread of the hyacinth. When the manual removal of hyacinth began, all the villagers joined the drive and some even brought their tractors to help remove the hyacinth. Subsequently, the villagers have started helping in saving the chicks or juveniles from dogs and other predators when they fall from their nests. The local media has extensively covered the efforts of the villagers in cleaning the pond and saving the birds. This has been a great encouragement to the villagers.

The following breeding period saw an all-time high of 250 painted storks fighting to find a suitable place to make nests. Finally 95 nests were made and all the chicks survived. In 2001, a pair of black-necked storks was also seen looking for a suitable place for nesting, but they were not successful and left. This pair was seen coming till 2004.

The pond is used by the villagers for their everyday needs; it also helps to maintain the water table of the wells in the village. In 2004 a plantation drive was carried out by the villagers, the forest department and local college students opposite the pond to have more trees available for nesting in the future.

Currently the NGO and the villagers are looking for support is order to establish a chick- rearing center (with egg hatchery, medicine and food). They also wish to train one of the village youths during the period of nesting and pay some honorarium/salary to the person for that particular period. There is also a need to highlight the efforts of the villagers in the national media to raise their pride in having and saving the breeding colony of the storks.

Various species can be saved by involving the people living around them. This can be achieved by creating a pride among the people about their efforts at conservation.

  This case study has been contributed by Anil K. Nair, an ornithologist, in 2006.

Anil K. Nair
81, Shopping Center
Kota 324007, Rajasthan
Tel: 0744- 2392063, 09828214901
crane [email protected]

This case study was part of the Directory on Community Conserved Areas (2009), published by Kalpavriksh. The directory can be downloaded here.

Recent Updates

Painted storks' population at Udupuria Lake drops drastically

The population of painted storks at Udupuria has declined drastically and lack of interest in conservation and apathy of the officials are to blame.

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