Baramulla: Birds that migrate to Kashmir every winter to spent the season here have started arriving, more since the snow and rainfall last week.
Officials said that almost two lakh migrant birds including Greylag Geese, Common teals, Mallards, Crested Pochards, Gadwalls, and Coots have landed in the wetlands of Kashmir, including Hokersar which is about 13 sq km in area, Narkara (3.25 sq km), Manibugh (4.50 sq km), Chatlam (0.25 sq km), Mirgund (4.00 sq km), Ajas (1.00 sq km), Shallabugh (16.00 sq km), and Hygam (4.50 sq km).
Some birds have been settling down at Wular lake, Dal Lake, Mansbal Lake and other small water bodies.
Wildlife Warden Wetlands Abdul Rouf Zargar told Kashmir Reader that nearly two lakh birds of 13 different species have landed in different wetlands of the valley and more birds will arrive in the next two months.
He said more than 12 lakh birds are expected to land in Kashmir this year, especially as the water level is already up in all the water bodies.
He said the wetlands department is ready to provide all kinds of food and security at all destinations for these migrant birds. He said teams of wetlands department are visiting such spots and monitoring the situation, while department employees have started night and day patrolling to control illegal killing of these birds.
Zargar informed that more than 1.5 lakh birds have landed in Hokersar while some 20 thousand birds are in Hygam water body. However, the Shallabugh water body yet not received any birds while other bodies have received only a few thousand birds. Zargar said he hoped that a large number of birds will visit Kashmir this year because of the plenty of water in the water bodies.