Autumn migratory birds arrive in India

This video is about birds in Himachal Pradesh in India.

By Vishal Gulati in India:

Migratory birds start descending on Himachal’s Pong Dam wetlands

October 27th, 2009

Pong Dam (Himachal Pradesh), Oct 28 (IANS) With the onset of winter, thousands of migratory birds from central and northern Asia have started descending on the Pong Dam wetlands in Himachal Pradesh for their annual sojourn.

Nestled in the Kangra valley, the area surrounded by grassy swamps and rich flora and fauna, is again filled with the flapping of wings.

“Around 10,000 migratory birds of 10 species are roosting and feeding in the Pong Dam area these days. Their number will increase as the temperature plummets and lakes freeze in their native homes,” Divisional Forest Officer (Wildlife) S.K. Guleria told IANS.

“The birds that have arrived early include the coot, common pochard, common teal, northern pintail, bar-headed goose, tufted duck, large cormorant and the ruddy shellduck. The influx of birds can be seen at swamps near Nagrota Suriyan, Budladha and Sansarpur Terrace,” he said.

According to a census conducted by the state forest department from Jan 30 to Feb 1, 2009, around 95,000 water birds of 89 species were recorded here last winter.

At that time the maximum influx was of the bar-headed goose (23,000), followed by the northern pintail (15,000), the coot (14,000), the great cormorant (8,000), the common pochard (8,000) and the common teal (5,000).

The migrants, which started to arrive at the end of September, will be here till March. …

The Pong Dam wetlands, one of the largest man-made wetlands in northern India, are also home to many native birds like the red jungle fowl, large Indian parakeet, Indian cuckoo, bank myna, wood shrike, yellow-eyed babbler, black ibis, paradise flycatcher, crested lark and the crested bunting.

The bar-headed goose, the world’s highest-altitude migrant, is a regular winter visitor here.

According to a paper published by the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) on the basis of the census at Pong in 2003, “a spectacular number (24,276) of the bar-headed geese here works out to be 40 percent of the estimated world population (52,000 to 60,000).”

P.C. Tak, a ZSI ornithologist based in Dehradun, said the bar-headed goose is a regular winter visitor to large wetlands of India. “But this is their preferred destination,” he added.

Himachal Pradesh is known as a storehouse of biodiversity. Its lush green valleys host 36 percent of India’s bird species.

Of the 1,228 species of birds that have been reported in India, 447 have been recorded in the hill state alone by the Himachal State Council for Science, Technology and Environment in its biodiversity report.

The winged-visitors, that bring much joy to the Keoladeo Ghana National Park (Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary) every year, are forced to skip
the national park this year: here.

Almost 60% of Britain’s rarest birds, including once-extinct species such as the bittern, avocet and osprey, have seen their numbers increase over the past decade, a coalition of conservation groups have said: here. And here.

Birds give Uran the miss as wetlands vanish – Mumbai – City – The Times of India: here.

Keoladeo National Park, India: The Salim Ali Visitor Interpretation Centre in Keoladeo National Park in Rhajasthan, India has been judged Asia’s best wetland centre: here.

2 thoughts on “Autumn migratory birds arrive in India

  1. Number of ‘National Day’ birds passing through Kenting sets record

    Central News Agency

    2009-10-28 03:03 PM

    Pingtung, Oct. 28 (CNA) Nearly 50,000 gray-faced buzzard eagles have passed through southern Taiwan’s Kenting National Park this year, the most since their numbers were first recorded 20 years ago, as environmental education and controls on illegal hunting have taken hold.

    Tsai Yi-jung, a senior technician who worked in Kenting National Park for 25 years, said the number gray-faced buzzard eagles passing through the park on their migration routes has grown threefold in the past decade, and after reaching 43,515 in 2008 and 49,600 in 2009 is likely to break 50,000 next year.

    Gray-faced buzzard eagles, also known as the “National Day Bird,” are listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) , which includes species for which trade must be controlled to “avoid utilization incompatible with their survival.” The number of gray-faced buzzards stopping in Kenting has grown by about 3,000 per year since 1998, said Tsai, who attributed the growth in part to the support of local police in investigating and controlling illegal hunting.

    “Since the Pingtung District Prosecutors Office began asking local police departments to supplement efforts by park police in strengthening the investigation and arrest of illegal hunters of the birds seven years ago, the situation has really changed, ” Tsai asserted.

    Four cases of illegal hunting of gray-faced buzzards have been reported so far this year, according to local police.

    Tsai also noted that as police have cracked down on illegal hunting of the species, its selling price has reached NT$1,000 to NT$1,200, more than double the NT$300 to NT$500 the bird fetched more than a decade ago.

    This rare species of migratory bird may be the most famous of 200 bird species that transit through Kenting National Park every year as they migrate, and because its migration period usually comes around Oct. 10, Taiwan’s national day, it is nicknamed the “National Day Bird.” Gray-faced buzzards usually rest in Kenting for about 20 days from early to mid-October and can be seen flying in groups above the ocean. Kenting National Park holds an annual eagle-watching event that includes various bird-watching and environmental education activities.

    (By Kuo Chih-hsuan and Fanny Liu)


  2. Conservation activist murdered in India
    22/07/2010 00:10:35 July 20: A green campaigner who launched a campaign against illegal mining in Gir forest has been murdered in Gukurat. Amit Jethwa was shot from point-blank range by two men on a motor bike.

    Jethwa had recently filed a public interest petition against illegal mining in the Gir forest. Indian authorities had started taking action against the illegal mining. It is rumoured that some local politicians were involved in the mining against which Jethwa had campaigned.

    Jethwa first came to prominence when he filed a case against Bollywood star Amir Khan for shooting a protected Indian gazelle during the making of the film Lagaan.

    In 2008 he raised the alarm about the mysterious death of lions in Gir Forest, after which an inter-state poaching gang was caught. The gang had killed some two dozen Asiatic lions in the Gir sanctuary.


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