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Smew (Mergellus albellus) sighted at Wular Lake after 116 years
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Smew (Mergellus albellus) sighted at Wular Lake after 116 years

Post by Shafat Malik on Saturday, January 28, 2023

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Bandipora, Jan 27: The Smew scientifically known as Mergellusalbellus was spotted in Wular lake in North Kashmir's Bandipora district after 116 years. 
Wular Conservation and Management Authority (WUCMA) coordinator Mudasir Mehmood told Rising Kashmir that the Smew is a species of duck and is the only living member of the genus Mergellus. 
He said that a female pair of these birds was photographed by Showkat Ahmad, a staff of WUCMA along with Ansar Ahmad an avid birder from Wular Lake. 
Mudasir said that the last known record of this migratory bird from Kashmir is from the year 1907. 
It is pertinent to mention that this is the second such rare sighting from the restored area of Wular lake after "Long Tailed Ducks" were sighted last week.
Many internationally and nationally reputed bird photographers are thronging the Lake to capture these rare sightings of migratory birds in the lake who are making their way back to their homes after decades. 
Wular lake, known as Asia's largest fresh lake is spread in a total area of 130 square km, covering almost 19 km in length while its breadth is 06 km. 
The Wullar Conservation and Management Authority (WUCMA) which was set up for the lake’s conservation has conducting dredging operations in the Wullar for its restoration while as 4.50 Sq Kilometers of Wullar lake has been dredged so far and work is in progress. 
According to WUCMA officials the work of Wular dredging has been taken up on a large scale after UT administration sanctioned Wular Action Plan for Rs 200.00 crore for conservation and management of Wular Lake.

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