Minimal rains fell on Keoladeo National Park in Bharatpur, India this season. The dry conditions have forced migratory birds to seek other areas to spend the winter. The lack of birds in the park has hit the Bharatpur economy hard.
The usual species of migratory birds, including spoonbills, egrets, cormorants, cranes and ibises, arrived at the park at the start of the monsoon season. But with little rains during the following weeks, most of the birds left to breed elsewhere, closer to a water supply.
Bharatpur’s rickshaw drivers have reported a dip in earnings as few tourists are visiting the park. Birders, aware of the situation, are staying away in droves. The few visitors that have been coming to the park are unaware of the poor conditions and leave in disappointment. One hotel manager reported a 50% drop in customers from last year.