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Pong dam record highest number of winged visitors this year

During the counting exercise one Bar-headed Goose with a number marked as H74 also came to notice.

Statesman News Service | SHIMLA |

Pong Dam Lake, also a Ramsar site, in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh has recorded the highest number of winged visitors from Central Asia this year, the Annual Water Bird Count 2022 at the lake revealed.

The wildlife department had recorded 1,10,309 migratory birds of 110 species as compared to 1,08,578 birds of 96 species last year.

Out of these, the water dependent migratory birds are 1,00,018 of 59 species and water dependent resident birds are 10,291 of 51 species.

The total population of the flagship species, Bar-headed Geese is 47598.

The other dominant species during this year are Eurasian Coot (23143), Northern Pintail (4665), Common Teal (4558), Common Pochard (4493), Eurasian Wigeon (4149), Little Cormorant (3616), Northern Shoveler (2869), and Great Cormorant (2100).

The other uncommon species reported in the lake are Greater White-fronted Goose, Lesser White fronted Goose, Red Crested Pochard, Ferruginous Pochard, Pied Avocet, Northern Lapwing, Peregrine Falcon, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Hobby, Eurasian Spoonbill, etc.

During the counting exercise one Bar-headed Goose with a number marked as H74 also came to notice.

During Larks and Pipits estimation, 8 species of Larks and Pipits were identified and counted.

As per the estimation, among the Larks and Pipits, Sand Larks were reported in the highest number i.e., 1222, Crested Lark (331), Oriental Skylark (265), Eurasian Skylark (231), Paddy field Pipit (181), Tawny Pipit (21), Richard’s Pipit (6) and Rosy Pipit (2).

“Total population of Birds as well as species of birds has shown an increase over last year. The bird population has shown an increase from 1,08,578 to 1,10,309 whereas species have increased from 96 to 110.

The most noticeable increase in the population of the Bar Headed Geese has shown an increase from 40570 to 47598 over the last year,” a state government official said.

He stated that there is also an increase in the total number of the species reported which is 14 species more from the last year. Most of these birds migrate from their breeding places in Trans-Himalayan region in Tibet, Central Asia, Russia and Siberia. 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.

The counting exercise was concluded successfully even with a limited number of participants due to the prevailing COVID-19 Pandemic, he added.