Around 1.28 lakh winged guest visits Pong Dam lake


As many as 128200 waterfowls of 119 different species have visited Pong Dam lake in this winter season as most of these birds migrate from their breeding season in trans-Himalaya region from Tibet, Central Asia, Russia and Siberia.

This was disclosed by state Principal Secretary Forest & Fisheries Tarun Shridher while releasing data of annual waterfowl estimation exercise carried out till January 29, 2014 for monitoring the numerical size of visitor migratory birds population during the year 2013-14 in Pong Dam lake Wildlife Sanctuary.

After day long exercise, it has been concluded that 128200 waterfowls of 119 different species have visited the lake this year.

Dominant species are Bar Headed Goose (43000), Northern Pintail (21500), Common Teal (13800), Common Pochard (10000), Common Coots (9000) Tufted Pochard (6100), Great Cormorant (5500) and Ruddy Shelduck (2100) and Eurasian Wigeon (1730) has been noticed this year.

Other rare species recorded in the lake are Common Shelduck (06), Sarus Cranes (09), Osprey (06), Buff bellied Pipit (04) Indian Skimmer (01) and Little Gull (01) which are rarely observed in other Indian wetlands. Eurasian Skylark (340) has probably the highest density in Pong Dam lake in the entire country.

Other noticeable or rare species are Great Crested Grebe, Greylag Goose, Red Crested Pochard, Ferruginous Pochard, Common Merganser, Eurasian Spoonbill, Greater White Fronted Goose, Garganey, Water Pipits, Gull billed Pipits.

The number of birds as well as species have shown an increase from last year (2012-13) when the total count was recorded as 123000 of 113 species.

Experts from various institutes and organizations viz. WWF, Delhi Bird Club, Himachal Bird Club, Birds Of Himachal and many wildlife enthusiasts, bird watchers, volunteers along with officials and officers from Forest department, participated in this mega exercise.

Entire Pong Dam lake Wildlife Sanctuary was divided in to 22 sections. About 90 persons participated in this exercise. Each section was thoroughly traversed on land and water by a team of 4-6 members headed by an expert.

Over the last few years Pong Dam lake, also a Ramsar site, has become an ideal destination for winter sojourn for many species of migratory birds.

421 species of birds, 18 species of snakes, 90 species of butterflies, 24 species of mammals, 27 species of fishes have been recorded in Pong Dam and that is attributed to the varied habitats, available food and extended protection by involving local communities.

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