Migratory birds flock to Harike wetland - ECAS Punjab

Migratory birds flock to Harike wetland

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GS Paul

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 30

With the advent of winter, birds from Siberia, Kazakhstan, Europe and other low temperature regions, including India, have started converging in a number of clusters at Harike, India’s second largest wetland, in Tarn Taran district. The reason behind the migration of birds is that lakes in those regions tend to freeze in winter.

The winged guests are expected to stay at the wetland till March.

The WWF, Wild Life and the Forest Department, which oversee the wetland, conduct the study and make arrangements to prevent poaching incidents.

Gitanjali Kanwar, coordinator, aquatic biodiversity, WWF (India), said the birds that had been spotted at the wetland include northern shoveler, pintail, pied avocets, gadwal, godwits, red shank, sandpipers, peregrine falcon, osprey, marsh harrier, coots, common pochard and ferruginous duck from Central Asian flyway.

Similarly, spoon bill and coots from other water bodies within India could also be spotted enjoying in different zones of the lake. Species like ruddy shelduck generally arrived from Ladakh and Sikkim and gulls from Arctic Tundra region, Kanwar added.

In January, as many as 91,025 birds were spotted in Harike against 1.23 lakh in January last year.

“It is just an onset of representative birds. More species like bar headed gulls will join. The average number of birds recorded at Harike vary between 91,000 and 95,000, except between 2016 and 2019, when the figure crossed the 1 lakh-mark. It will be too early to give out the number of birds spotted this year, as migration continues till December and January,” she said.

The wetland and the lake were formed by constructing headworks across the Sutlej in 1953. Since then, the wetland, spread about 41 sqkm, has become a favourite destination among rare varieties of avifauna.

from The Tribune https://ift.tt/3kN9zRg

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