Populations of the Indian skimmer appear to be declining at an alarming rate; the total population was estimated at fewer than 10,000 in 1994, but is thought to be fewer than 5,000 presently. These drastic declines are largely a result of widespread disturbance, exploitation and degradation of lowland rivers and lakes through fishing, transportation, domestic use, and pollution from agricultural and industrial chemicals. Habitat loss reduces both reproductive and foraging success. The construction of irrigation barrages and dams on major rivers have degraded or destroyed certain areas of sand-bar habitat, as well as facilitating the conversion of such areas to agricultural land (2). Reduction in water levels in some Indian rivers has allowed dogs and other predators to reach nesting colonies and destroy eggs and chicks (6). The encroachment of vegetation, especially of water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), is also an increasing problem at lakes and reservoirs (2). In addition, collection of eggs may have contributed to the reduction of Indian skimmer numbers in some parts of its range (5).