Over 10 Lakh Winged Guests Arrive In Kashmir Wetlands

Over 10 Lakh Winged Guests Arrive In Kashmir Wetlands

16 January 2014
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Ishfaq Tantry

Srinagar: With favourable temperature and environmental conditions prevailing, over 10 lakh migratory birds, including rare species, have arrived from different parts of the world at the wetlands of the Kashmir valley for their seasonal stay. During their routine annual sojourn to the wetlands of Kashmir, the winged guests fly thousands of kilometres from regions like Siberia, China, Central Asia, western Europe and Japan. “Over 10 lakh migratory birds are presently settled in nine wetlands in different parts of the Kashmir valley,” said wildlife warden, wetlands (Kashmir), Mohammad Maqbool Baba. He said the largest number of these birds is at Shalbugh (Ganderbal) and Hygam (Baramulla) wetlands. The other wetlands in the Valley are the Wular lake in Baramulla, Hokersar near Srinagar and in Pulwama district. With water levels increasing in the wetlands due to recent snowfall, coupled with low temperature conditions and availability of food, the number of migratory birds in the Valley wetlands this season has been more than satisfactory as compared to last year, Baba added. The commonly sighted migratory birds include grey leg geese, Brahminy duck, pintails, common teal, tufted duck, garganey, mallard, common merganser, northern pintail, common pochard, red-crested pochard and Eurasian wigeon.