Around 50,000 Avian visitors flock to Wular Lake this winter
Concrete steps taken for restoration and anti-poaching mechanism: WUCMA
Post by Shafat Malik on Thursday, March 2, 2023
Bandipora, Mar 01: At least 50,000 migratory birds have arrived to the Wular Lake this winter, according to a survey conducted by the Wular Conservation and Management Authority (WUCMA). The census was conducted in light of the practical and progressive steps taken to save Wular, Asia's largest freshwater lake.
Mudasir Mahmood, Coordinator WUCMA, in an exclusive conversation with Rising Kashmir said that the department conducted an annual census of birds in Wular Lake, with the primary objectives of surveying the bird population and diversity, as well as perceiving the area preferences of water birds.
He said that bird enthusiasts participated in the census, carrying out a comprehensive bird count in predetermined areas of the Wular Lake during which twenty bird species, including Common Pochards, Ruddy Shelducks and Greylag Geese were recorded during the census.
Mudasir said that the exact data will be provided after compilation; however approximately more than 50 thousand birds were recorded during the census.
"This year Wular Lake witnessed the arrival of around 50 thousand birds with two new species - long tailed duck and smew - being recorded after decades of absence, much to the delight of bird watchers in the valley", Mudasir said. He added, " 2022 saw a total of 40 thousand migratory birds visiting Wular Lake."
Mudasir said that proactive measures were taken prior to the arrival of the birds this year in order to maintain an environment conducive to their habitation, adding that numerous awareness programmes had been carried out in various areas to educate people on how illegal hunting could impact migratory birds and consequently their way of living.
A total of nine punt guns, locally manufactured firearms to slaughter wetland birds were seized this year from hunters anti-poaching control room of the Forest Protection Force and the Wular Conservation and Management Authority in the vicinity of the banks of Wular Lake, WUCMA official said adding that minimal poaching took place this year in the lake.
Mudasir stated that the restoration of Wular Lake has been progressing at a satisfactory rate to ensure the lake has an adequate water level, thus creating a hospitable environment for the waterfowl.
He added that many bird enthusiasts, both local and international, have been visiting the lake this year to watch their favorite birds.
Two watchtowers are being built near the lake to provide birdwatchers with awe-inspiring views of the avian wonders of nature, Mudasirconcluded.