Persian shearwater rescued from Porbandar fishing harbour dies

A Persian shearwater (Puffinus persicus persicus) that drifted to Porbandar harbour died on June 19 despite being administered treatment. It is the in the first time the bird was rescued on the Gujarat coast, according to birdwatchers.

Fishermen sighted the bird in Subhashnagar fishing harbour in on June 17 and alerted volunteers of Green Wildlife Conservation Society (GWCS), a local NGO working for wildlife conservation.

“The fishermen saw the bird in the creek behind the Harbour Marine Police Station and alerted us. Our volunteers and a local forest guard brought it to the rescue centre in Porbandar Bird Sanctuary. However, the bird died on Sunday night,” said Chirag Tank, president of GWCS.

Tank said that Uday Vora, retired Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer who is honourary joint secretary of the Bird Conservation Society of Gujrat (BCSG), helped in identifying the bird as a Persian shearwater. “The bird seemed very weak and didn’t survive despite best efforts,” Tank said adding the carcass is being sent to the Bombay Natural History Society for further examination.

“This is not the first time that a Persian shearwater was recorded along Gujarat coast. During a bird survey in 2016, we recorded Persian shearwaters and flesh-footed shearwaters. However, this could be the first recorded rescue of a Persian shearwater on the Gujarat coast,” said Vora.

Persian shearwater’s range includes the Arabian Sea and the north Indian Ocean. They spend most of their life at sea and go to the coast only for breeding, nesting and raising their young ones.

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