Western Ghats and the Purple Moor Hen

January 2, 2015

Over the years, each and every article that we have written in Daijiworld spells out a clear message about wildlife conservation and the ways and means of addressing these issues of global importance. This article is no different in the sense; it gives the readers an idea on the health of our Planet and the impact of human activity.

Published every two years, the Living Planet Report, (2014) produced by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has sounded ominous warnings about the very survival of many living species on Earth and suggests that wildlife populations are globally declining at an alarming rate.

Currently, the global population is cutting down trees faster than they regenerate, catching fish faster than the oceans can restock, pumping water from rivers and aquifers faster than rainfall can replenish them and emitting more climate-warming carbon dioxide than oceans and forests can absorb.

Kuwaitis had the biggest ecological footprint, meaning they consume and waste more resources per head than any other nation, the report said, followed by Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

"If all people on the planet had the footprint of the average resident of Qatar, we would need 4.8 planets. If we lived the lifestyle of a typical resident of the USA, we would need 3.9 planets," the report said.

Many countries - including India, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo- had an ecological footprint that was well within the planet's ability to absorb their demands but will change in the future.

This makes it clear that our present life style and habits are unsustainable. International efforts to meet targets to stem the loss of wildlife and habitats are also failing miserably. In our opinion habitat loss is the single most defining factor threatening wildlife populations.

We have provided pictures of the Purple Moor Hen also commonly referred to as the Purple Swamp Hen. Moorhens are resident birds with breeding populations in the country. The Purple Moor Hen is commonly observed in marshy lands, swamps, lakes, wetlands and ponds all along the length and breadth of the Western Ghats.

We have observed different shades of colour depending on the elevation and season. It is relatively easy to photograph these birds in the wild because they are quite accustomed to the presence of human beings.

It is quite common to find a dozen or more Purple Moor Hens living in close proximity with other aquatic and semi aquatic birds like the Common Moor Hen, Coot, Sand piper, Bronze winged Jacana, Glossy Ibis, Whistling teals, Egrets, Pond herons, Grey herons and Purple herons. They are good swimmers and can also fly long distances.

These birds prefer to feed on tender leaves and shoots. Some wetland species are herbivores as well as granivores (seed predators). It is one species that the paddy farmers detest to see as the birds destroy paddy saplings. The crop loss caused by the purple birds is a common complaint of the paddy cultivators. Faced with the prospects of economic loss, the farmers hunt these birds not for meat purposes but to protect their crops as a few of our photographs reveal. Apart from paddy cultivators, the other threat to these beautiful birds is the influx of chemicals and other pollutants into water bodies.


Dr Anand & Geeta Pereira - Archives

By Dr Anand & Geeta Pereira

Comment on this article

  • jyothi, Mangalore/Bangalore

    Fri, Jan 30 2015

    Wow !! these pictures of the bird and the scenery is breath-takingly beautiful. It is such a joy to see these birds & beauty of God's creation so rare these days. Glory to God for His wonderful & amazing creation !!

    thanks for sharing these pictures Dr. Anand & Geetha Periera


  • Lance & Hazel D' Costa, Mangalore / Abu Dhabi

    Thu, Jan 8 2015

    Awesome pics Dr. Anand & Geeta and an informative writeup too. Enjoyed watching the colorful snaps of Purple Moor Hen. Greatly appreciate your efforts and look forward to more!

    Agree [3]

  • Anand, Mangalore

    Tue, Jan 6 2015

    Nice pictures. Birds look tasty!

    Agree [2]

  • Joe Britto, Nakre/Bangalore

    Mon, Jan 5 2015

    Yet another set of True to Life stunning pictures of the rare 'Purple Moor Hen ' by our Dr. Anand Pereira & Dr. Geetha Pereira.
    Thanks a million !!!

    Agree [9]

  • Kamath, Udupi/Bangalore

    Mon, Jan 5 2015

    Great stuff dear couple, keep it up. Keep it up & keep feeding us more..

    Suggestion: If you get a chance to go towards areas like Padukone & all the Kudrus in that area, please dont forget to take snaps & post here

    Agree [6]

  • Animal lover, Udupi

    Mon, Jan 5 2015

    Anand and Geetha,
    Superb article as always, keep it up,how I wish more would read your articles, I feel really bad to see people passing innumerable comments for silly nonsensical political articles and hardly any readers for the really important the need for survival kind of article like yours, wake up guys before it's too late,

    Agree [9]

  • anita britto, Mangalore/Auckland

    Mon, Jan 5 2015

    Breath-taking amazing pictures which never fail to impress !

    Interesting stats which paint an instant picture in the mind and compel us to try and protect the natural world from human activities. Hope it wont be too late before we realise how valuable the biodiversity of the Rainforests is to mankind and for the survival of the planet.Thanks for all your efforts to reminders to create awareness.

    Agree [7]

  • R.Bhandarkar, M'lore

    Sun, Jan 4 2015

    Incredible duo at it again! Always 'hunting in pairs' albeit with a different motive of preserving wild life! Always wondered who's the writer and who's the clicker though!

    Agree [16]

  • Ismail, Moodbidri

    Sun, Jan 4 2015

    Thank you Dr Anand and Geeta Pereira for spreading awareness of wildlife and sharing very nice photography. God bless you.

    Agree [8]

  • Rita, Germany

    Sat, Jan 3 2015

    What a beutiful creatures.and in a green backgroud their colour is just shinig.Thank you for the Pictures.Yes in India we have most wonderful nature and its creatures.Only we dont know to preserve it and its importance.we see in them a harming animals and try to destroy it.Time will come and have to repent for it.We have to Keep clean and allow animals to live in their natural circumstances and so we Profit from them.cut no trees for luxury,with overfishing ,and allowing the chemicals from industrys into see,die fishes.at end we dont have fish very soon.

    Agree [11]

  • Balkrishna, Belman

    Fri, Jan 2 2015

    Good Article Dr Anand & Geeta. Thanks.Break from same negative politics and crime.During holidays to native When i was young the peacocks would visit our farms near the house. Now to show the peacock to my kid i have to be lucky and have to run to interiors.Joint families earlier less house constructions.Save the nature for our children.

    Agree [12]

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