Migratory birds in Kashmir hit by freezing conditions

January 4th, 2008 - 7:34 pm ICT by admin  

Srinagar, Jan.4 (ANI): The cold wave in Kashmir has made life difficult for the migratory birds that frequent Hokersar wetland here every year.
At the Hokersar wetland, located 16 kilometres north of Srinagar, the wildlife officials are striving to ensure a suitable environment for migrant birds.
“The water here has frozen to a large extent and the birds who come here are finding it very difficult to sit in these wetland reserves. These birds feed during the night in these reserves and the wetlands freeze at night due to low temperature and remain in this condition till 2 oclock in the morning, said Rouf Zargar, a wetland warden at Hokersar Wetland.
Therefore, the birds experience a great difficulty in coming here and they go to other wetland reserves like Wular Lake etc. Therefore, we have directed our field employees to break the ice in morning,” said Zargar. Officials have broken layers of ice to provide feeding points for the birds after the cold wave froze many water bodies, including the famous Dal Lake in Srinagar.
“There are at least 10-15 kinds of migratory birds here and we feed them to the best of our abilities,” said Ghulam Hassan, a wildlife employee at the wetland.
Over 500,000 birds have arrived this year. Primarily, they come from Siberia, Afghanistan, China, Central Asia and North Europe.
Hokersar is a world-class wetland spread over 13.75 kilometres area. It includes lake and marshy area. It is the most accessible and popular Kashmir’s wetlands, which include Hygam, Shalibug and Mirgund.
Birds found in Hokersar - Migratory ducks and geese which include Brahminy Duck, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Garganey, Greylag Goose, Mallard, Common Merganser, Northern Pintail, Common Pochard, Ferruginous Pochard, Red-Crested Pochard, Ruddy Shelduck, Northern Shoveler, Common Teal and Eurasian Wigeon.
Migratory birds like the Bar Headed Geese, ducks waterfowls, Grey Heron, Little Grebe, Common Snipe and the Raj Hans arrive in the Kashmir Valley in September and remain till March.(ANI)

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