Wildlife Department hosts workshop on Asian Waterfowl Census

Jammu: The Wildlife Protection Department today organized a one day workshop on Asian Waterfowl Census in collaboration with World Wide Fund (WWF) and Wetlands International with the objective of imparting Bird identification and population estimation among field functionaries.

It is a world-wide known fact that UT of J&K hosts a number of winter visiting birds at prominent wetlands such as Surinsar-Mansar, Gharana etc. in the Migratory Birds journey from Central Asia to Southern Asia.

During the annual bird migration, important birds like Bar Headed Geese, Greylag Goose, Northern Pintail, Garganey, Grey Heron in hundreds and thousands are expected to halt in the Wetlands of J&K.

During this period, the Department of Wildlife Protection documents species wise bird count and other associated factors affecting their congregation. Such annual visits are established and well known among bird watchers who often visit these Wetlands in winters to witness the special congregation.

Earlier such documentation has shown a positive trend in increase in number of bird visits particularly Bar Headed species but the diversity of Bird species always fluctuate. Therefore, such detailed annual assessment throws more light on diversity among winter visitors, their food preference and role of climate etc. Such long term understanding will lead to a better conservation of these species and effective management of fragile wetland ecosystems which are subjected to high biotic and abiotic stress.

In this regard the frontline staff of the Wildlife Protection Department has been tasked to count the visiting birds, species wise for identification and documentation in collaboration with WWF. The workshop was attended by huge number of staff including Regional Wildlife Warden Jammu, Wildlife Warden Jammu, Kathua and other staff members.

Chief Wildlife Warden, J&K, Suresh Kumar Gupta was the Chief Guest on the occasion. He re-iterated the speciality of the wetlands in conserving endangered species and the role of departmental staff and public in general in hosting winter visitors in a friendly manner. The other known mass migratory birds visiting India are Demoiselle Crane visits to Rajasthan, Amur Falcon in Nagaland, Flamingo in Gujarat etc.