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Common Name : Indian Reef Heron     -       Scientific Name : Egretta gularis       -       Other Name : Western Reef Heron / Western Reef Egret (E), Karadiya Koka (S)
Pomparippu
04/03/2015
Pomparippu
04/03/2015

This is a rare but regular winter migrant to the coastal areas. It is also found in West Africa, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf extending to India and Sri Lanka. Two subspecies have been recognized. The nominate subspecies E. g. gularis breeds in west Africa and the subspecies that migrates to Sri Lanka, E.g. schistacea breeds in the Red Sea coast to the east coast of India.

The conservation status of this species is regarded as “Least Concerned” (IUCN Red List) and it is a species protected under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance as amended by Act No. 22 of 2009.

I have seen this species at Bundala national park, Chilaw sand spits, Mannar, Arippu and Jaffna. All these sightings have been on the coast or in the slatterns adjoining the sea. Over the years the sightings of this species appear to have increased in Mannar.

In April 2015 I observed one individual at Wilpattu a few kilometers inland at the broken bridge between Eluwankulama and Pomparippu on the Mannar road. This is my first sighting of this species in a fresh water habitat.