Jammu & Kashmir

Kashmir wetlands, lakes host rare bird species among 4 lakh migratory visitors this season

Nearly four lakh migratory birds arrive in Kashmir this season. Representational Photo

Srinagar: At least four lakh migratory birds have arrived in the Valley to keep their date with the region, officials said.

This year’s bird migration has, however, attracted the attention of bird lovers and wetland officials of Kashmir given the fact some 20 rare bird species have been found among the guests who have visited the region for the first time.

Every year, Kashmir hosts lakhs of birds who come all the way from Central Asian flyway zones that include Siberia, North China, and North Europe. These birds stay in Kashmir till March.

“This year, we have four lakh migratory birds in our wetlands across Kashmir. The main highly of this year’s bird migration is that we have received some rare bird species who have been spotted for the very first time in Kashmir wetlands,” a senior official of the wildlife department, told a news agency Kashmir News Observer.

“These birds know their route very well as they are always led by a pilot bird who has age and experience of travelling through long routes.”

The official said that they expect more arrivals by February end. “At present, we have around one lakh migratory birds at Hokersar wetlands and another land at Hygam while there are over 50,000 migratory birds at Shallbugh bird reserve. In other lakes and bird habitats of Kashmir, there are over lakh birds present,” he said.

He said that there are hundreds of migratory birds also present at Chatlum and also some 30,000 in Wular Lake. In Dal Lake, there are over lakh migratory birds,” the official said.

Wild life warden for Wetland division Kashmir, Ifshan Dewan told the news agency that at Hokersar there are over lakh migratory birds present.

“This time there are 10 to 20 rare bird species that have arrived. Bird lovers and bird watchers have identified the new guests along with our staff and we are analysing their nature and habitat etc,” she said.

She said that the migratory birds include new guests that are Sharpe tailed sandpiper, Glossy ibis, Dunlin, red-necked phalarope, yellowhammer, tundra swan, black-tailed godwit, bar-tailed godwit, spotted redshank, Kentish plover, Pacific Golden plover, lasser sand plover, terrek sandpiper, curlew sandpiper, Ruff, common redshank, common greenshank,  jack snipe, pin tailed snipe, common snipe,  little stint etc.

She said that a bird watcher Riyan Sofi is working hard along with the wetland staff to identify new guests in Kashmir wetlands. On poaching, she said that special teams have been constituted to prevent poaching.


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