Record number of migratory birds flock to Kashmir

January 24th, 2009 - 3:13 pm ICT by ANI  

By Pervez Butt
Srinagar, Jan 24 (ANI): A record 900,000 migratory birds from Siberia, China and Central Asia besides Indian sub-continent, are presently nestling in Kashmir valley.
State wild life authorities said that they have received more avian visitors this year than they expected at the three famous waterfowl habitats of Haigam, Hokersar and Shalibugh in the valley.
Mohd Maqbool Baba, Wildlife Warden at Hokersar Wetland said that the record arrivals could be possibly due to the efforts made by his department to maintain optimum water level in the wetlands and warmer weather compared to previous winter.
“This time we have approximately 900,000 migratory birds in our various wetlands, Hokur has around 200,000 to 300,000 migratory birds, Shallabugh has around 100,000 to 200,000 migratory birds and the highest concentration of migratorybirds is in Haigam wetlands which has around 400,000 to 500,000. The main reason for the record number of birds this time is that we have maintained optimum water level in these wetlands,” he added
The danger of bird-flu had temporarily made the birds suspect in the eyes of officials but no case of bird flu was found by the state animal husbandry department after it examined collected samples of the birds.
M. Ramzan, a ranger at the 5.6 sq km Hokersar Wetland reserve said that the staff was very happy with record number of birds visiting the valley.
“This time our staff is very happy as we have received a record number of migratory birds. We are feeling an urge to perform our duties better due to this. We take special care of the water levels in these wetlands and maintain it at an optimum level,” Ramzan added.
Some of the popular migratory birds visiting the region including goose, shoveller, red-crested pochard, white-eyed pochard, common teal, mallard, Pintail, gadwall, wigeon, coot and greylag.
These birds begin their flight to Kashmir in early September and stay till spring.
Kashmir valley has a number of lakes that include Wullar, Manasbal, Anchar, Dal and Nagin and are visited by migratory birds though in smaller numbers compared to Hokarsar. (ANI)

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