From Tibet to Siberia, over 20k migratory birds fly in for winter halt at Pong

Shimla |

November 18, 2020 8:48:18 pm

Migratory birds at Pong lake. (Credit: Vijay Guleria)

Written by Gagan

With the onset of winter, migratory birds, crossing Himalayan ranges, have began arriving at Pong Dam lake in Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra district. In line with wildlife officers, round 20,000 waterfowl from locations reminiscent of Central Asia, Tibet, Russia, Siberia and Mongolia have already reached the Pong wetland, a global Ramsar web site.

“A few of the dominant species, which have arrived on the lake, embody the bar-headed geese, northern pintails, frequent coots, and the good cormorants. As per a counting train undertaken Monday, there are roughly 25,000 birds dwelling within the lake at current, together with 20,000 migratory waterfowl,” mentioned divisional forest officer (wildlife) Rahul Rohane. He added that frequent pochards and another species have additionally arrived however in lesser numbers.

The bar-headed geese, or Anser indicus, usually fly at 5,000-6,000 metres above sea-level when crossing the Himalayas whereas migrating from their breeding grounds in Central Asia, Russia and Mongolia to the Indian subcontinent throughout winter. They often fly even larger, and their particular skill to maintain flight in an oxygen-thin altitude has lengthy confounded scientists.

Final winter, the species made up round 43 per cent of round 1.16 lakh waterfowl halting on the Pong lake, in response to a census carried out by Himachal wildlife officers together with ornithologists and fowl lovers in late January.

A complete of 114 fowl species, together with 60 migratory, have been recognized through the census, which is carried out every winter. In line with officers, 425 species of birds are usually recognized to remain on the Pong Dam Lake Wildlife Sanctuary, together with terrestrial in addition to migrant birds. That is attributed to diverse habitats, meals availability, and the intervention and safety provided by the state wildlife wing.

With a catchment space of greater than 12,500 sq. kilometres, the Pong wetland, additionally referred to as Maharana Pratap Sagar, is a man-made reservoir at an altitude of 436 metres. It was constructed on the Beas river together with a dam in 1975, and declared a Ramsar web site in 2002.

It presents a transitory resting reserve for migratory birds coming to the subcontinent in winters, when wetlands in larger latitudes develop into frozen. Flocks of waterfowl undertake the migration to Pong and different wetlands in India to spend the winter in a extra congenial local weather.

Some migrants have additionally reached the opposite wetlands of Himachal. As an example, 18 frequent coots and 4 pairs of mallards are at the moment halting on the Renuka lake in Sirmaur, an official mentioned.

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