Intense cold forces Avian guests to shift habitat

The intense cold conditions have forced the migratory birds, which arrive at famous Shallabugh wetland here in central Kashmir every year, to shift their habitat.
Intense cold forces Avian guests to shift habitat
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The intense cold conditions have forced the migratory birds, which arrive at famous Shallabugh wetland here in central Kashmir every year, to shift their habitat. 

Thousands of migratory birds from far off Siberia, Eastern Europe, China, Japan and the Philippines had arrived at Shallabugh wetland to ward off the extreme cold of their summer homes. However this year the freezing temperatures have forced these Avian guests to shift from their usual winter habitats.

Due to the freezing temperatures the surface of wetlands has frozen and the migratory birds which usually used to stay in these wetlands have shifted to other water bodies where they find the running water and deep water sources that is favourable for their stay and survival.

The cold weather conditions with temperatures plummeting to around minus 6 degree Celsius have also led to food crisis for the migratory birds, who are now mostly dependent on the artificial feeding.

"Thousands of migratory birds had arrived in different wetlands with the onset of winter. However, the migratory birds are preferring to stay in running and deep water sources like Dal Lake and Wullar, as the major portion of the wetlands stands frozen," Chief Wildlife Wetlands , Rouf Ahmed Zargar told Greater Kashmir.

He said that they are expecting that the migratory birds would again flock and stay in the wetlands with some increase in temperatures. "We expect them to return to wetlands from first week of February."

The official said that due to freezing of the water bodies in Kashmir the department is feeding the migratory birds artificially to prevent them from facing starvation. "Our men leave early in the morning and spread paddy in the wetlands and other water bodies to feed the Avian guests", he added.

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