22 migratory birds found dead in HP’s Pong wetland, triggering bird flu fears

Not less than 22 migratory birds have been discovered useless within the Pong Dam wetland over the previous two days, triggering avian flu fears barely three months after an outbreak within the area that left greater than 5,000 such birds useless.

The wildlife wing of the Himachal Pradesh forest division has put its groups on alert. “Twenty-two birds had been discovered useless, and their samples have been despatched for testing,” state forest minister Rakesh Pathania mentioned on Saturday. Fourteen birds had been discovered useless at Ransar Garhi and eight carcasses had been noticed by villagers within the Nagrota Surian forest space.

“The migratory birds have died an unnatural demise over the previous two days. We carried out an on-the-spot inspection and picked up their blood, stool, tracheal and cloacal samples,” mentioned Rahul Rohne, the divisional forest officer, wildlife, Pong Dam. The samples have been despatched to the Northern Area Diagnostic Laboratory in Jalandhar.

Mortality principally in bar-headed geese

The mortality has been discovered principally in bar-headed geese that migrate from Mongolia to Pong Dam in winter. This season, a complete of 40,570 bar-headed geese had been noticed on the lake. That is the best quantity amongst chicken species on the lake.

Areas inside a 3km radius of the spots the place the carcasses had been discovered useless have been put beneath surveillance and the forest division has constituted 10 groups to maintain monitor of the state of affairs. The forest workers with the assistance of the native panchayat representatives, mahila mandals and yuvak mandals are spreading consciousness in villages surrounding the water physique that’s unfold 240 sq km.

Largest artifical wetland of North India

The Pong Dam wetland in Kangra district is likely one of the largest artifical wetlands of North India, shaped by the development of the dam on the Beas river, in 1974. That is the primary main wetland that gives a transitory resting reserve for migratory birds coming from the trans-Himalayan zone in winter when the wetlands in Europe and North and Central Asia freeze.

Flocks of waterfowls that breed in these areas in summer season undertake migration to Pong wetlands to spend winter in congenial weather conditions from October to March yearly.

Wetland helps 415 chicken species

Pong wetland helps 415 chicken species belonging to greater than 60 households. The wetland has an untapped potential for chicken watching, tenting, water sports activities, nature/heritage tourism and different leisure actions. Uncommon species of vultures, falcons, Indian skimmer, red-necked grebes, white-fronted geese and waders have been sighted within the wetland.

Bar-headed geese, which go to Pong in giant numbers, represent greater than 40% of the world’s inhabitants of the species. This makes the wetland the most important single congregation vacation spot for bar-headed geese not solely in India but in addition on this planet.

Greater than 1.08 lakh birds belonging to 96 species had been sighted on the lake this yr. Of those, 1.01 lakh birds are of 51 migratory species apart from 6,433 resident birds of 29 species and 714 birds of 16 different species.

Fewer winged guests this winter

Yr Variety of birds sighted Variety of species

2019 1.15 lakh 103

2020 1.15 lakh 114

2021 1.08 lakh 96

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