Migratory birds descending on the wetlands

Feb 02, 2013 20:16 | Feature & Viewpoint

1,23,000 Migratory Birds  recorded in Pong, against 1,32,000 last year

Birds species increased from 95 to 113.

Dharamsala (Arvind Sharma)

A two-day marathon exercise to count the migratory birds descending on the wetlands of Pong Dam lake near Dharamsala in Himachal ,which finished yesterday have given the first results of the count. A Spokesman of State Government informed hereon Saturday that After two-day long exercise it was observed that 1,23,000 waterfowl of 113 different species including dominant species such as Bar-Headed Goose (34000), Northern Pintail (21000), Common Pochard (12000), Little Corromrant (7700) have reached Pong Dam lake. A pair of Whooper Swan was observed in Pong Lake after gap of 113 years. Earlier, it was recorded by during January, 1900 AD near Talwara and there was no such record of Whooper Swan after that in the entire country.

The Annual Waterfowl Estimation exercise was carried out at Pong Dam lake wildlife sanctuary by experts from various institutes and organizations and voluntaries along with Forest Department from 31st January, 2013 to 1st February, 2013 for monitoring the numerical size of visitor migratory birds population during the year 2012-13.

“Besides ornithologists of the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), the Wildlife Institute of India and Zoological Survey of India, more than 150 bird watchers were  on the job from dawn to dusk on January 30 and 31,” Chief Conservator of Forests Sanjeeva Pandey said. Bird watchers from the Delhi Bird Club, Chandigarh Bird Club and Pong Birding Society also took  part in this  exercise. During the last census, over 1,32,000 migratory water birds of 95 species were recorded .

The migratory birds from trans-Himalayan regions start reaching the sanctuary with the onset of winter from October.For the last few years, Pong Dam lake also known as Ramsar Site has become an ideal destination for winter sojourn to many species of migratory birds. About 1,23,000 waterfowl of 113 different species which  visited Pong Dam lake during this season,  most of these birds migrate from Trans-Himalaya region in Tibet, Central Asia, Russia and Sibera.