A nematode infestation has led to mass mortality of spot-billed pelicans (Pelicanus philippensis) at Telineelapuram Important Bird Area (IBA) in Naupada swamp of Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh.
- Over 150 spot-billed pelicans have succumbed to the infestation since December. Only adult birds have succumbed to the infestation till date.
- Until now, in South India, the Telineelapuram IBA is the prime winter sojourn for the spot-billed pelican for breeding. The same IBA is also a breeding habitat for the painted stork (Mycteria leucocephala).
- The nematode infestation would not spread from one species to another species as per the studies carried out by the experts in Karnataka State.
- The spot-billed pelican is capable of hunting huge fish from the water bodies and swamps and thus, it is vulnerable to infestation.
- Thousands of spot-billed pelicans and a few hundred painted storks migrate from the Siberian region to breed in the Telineelapuram IBA and a majority of them prefer to stay here instead of going back home.