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Migratory birds make their way to wetlands in U'khand

Haridwar, Dec 29 (UNI) The wetlands, lakes, ponds and riverbanks in Uttarakhand -- as in many other parts of the country -- are presenting a splendid spectacle with thousands of multi-hued winged guests chirping and frisking in water these days.
Dr Dinesh Bhatt, professor in the department of environmental sciences in the Gurukul Kangri University here who has done extensive research work in avian biology, says when it is extremely cold in north Asia and Europe, the birds navigate from their native breeding habitats to far off locations in pleasant weather for roosting and foraging.
“The aquatic fowls guided by their in-built biological clock and geo-magnetic field of the earth, migrate southward and flying over the Himalaya descend on the wetlands, such as Chilka lake in Odisha, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Rajasthan, Wular Lake in Jammu & Kashmir, Asan Barrage and Bhimgoda Barrage in Uttarakhand, in the Indian sub-continent”, informs the noted ornithologist.
The bird scientist say that so far 40 species of migratory avifauna, such as bar headed geese, ruddy shelduck, egret, pallas’s gull, white wagtail, western osprey, cormorants, mallard & gadwall, have arrived in the wetlands of Uttarakhand and adjoining states.
Besides the trans Himalayan migratory birds, there are local migrants, such as warblers, larks, buntings, finches & flycatchers, which descend from the high altitudes of the Himalayas to plains down below. As the warmer days arrive in March, these winged guests, both latitudinal and altitudinal, bid adieu to their wintery abodes to return to their original habitats far off.
The bird scientists express concern that during recent years the migratory fowls have started coming late and their number is also dwindling.
Ashutosh Singh, an ornithologist with the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, says that the late arrival of migratory birds may be due to late onset of winter in their native places on account of global warming, while the depletion in their numbers may be partly due to normal disasters, such as storms and floods, at their stopovers in their flypath and partly due to poaching and degradation in their winter habitats.
The birders says that since avifauna is a vital part of eco-system, the governments need to pay the same attention to their conservation as they give to the conservation of fauna, such as tigers and elephants.
UNI XC CJ 1703
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