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New species of migratory birds flock to Kashmir lakes and wetlands

Last Updated on January 20, 2022 at 5:39 pm

Keeping their century old tryst with Jammu and Kashmir, lakhs of migratory birds have again arrived in the wetlands and lakes of Kashmir.

But what is bringing a major attention to bird lovers and officials is the rare bird species or new bird species visiting the Himalayan region this year. Due to the widespread snowfall in December and January birds have been attracted from Europe and Central Asia who keep their date with the Himalayan region by and large every winter.

Wildlife warden, wetlands, Ifshan Dewan told Hindustan Times that around 3.5 lakh birds have arrived at Srinagar’s biggest wetland, Hokersar, while around 2.5 lakh birds have graced Hygam wetland in north Kashmir’s Baramulla.

Dewan further said that this year has shown improvement from the past year as many birds were affected due to low water level at Hokersar but this year improvements have been made by working on bunding and breaches, which had helped water retention.

Shalbough which is located in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, is the biggest wetland spread over 16 square kilometres, Hokersar on the city’s outskirts covers around 13.5 square kilometers and Hygam in north Kashmir is spread across nine square kilometres. Chatlam wetland in south Kashmir’s Pampore also attracts several migratory species.

Dewan further informed that despite of good water level at Shalboug, few birds have arrived so far but still there is time as the birds start arriving in January-end and February. Dewan further added that there are around 10-20 new or rare species, including the whooper swan and waders which have been spotted.

“Poaching does happen but we have established control rooms at Hokersar, Wular, Dal and Shalbough which work 24X7. There is constant patrolling. and whenever we get information of any poaching incident, our teams reach the spot,” she said.