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Monday, October 25, 2021

Sukhna Lake might not see many migratory birds this year due high water levels

The DFW is in the process of luring migratory birds by providing them with a shallow water body (with water levels between three to three and half feet) at Nagar Van, adjoining Sukhna Lake. The water body was constructed three years ago.

Written by Saurabh Parashar | Chandigarh |
Updated: October 14, 2021 7:08:42 am
The water level of the lake is just a few points down from the danger mark and has remained high despite the floodgates being opened twice last month..

THE ICONIC Sukhna Lake might not host many Siberian migratory birds this year due to its high water levels caused by the heavy rainfall in September, senior officers from UT’s Department of Forests and Wildlife (DFW) said. The water level of the lake is just a few points down from the danger mark and has remained high despite the floodgates being opened twice last month. Migratory birds from cold countries usually arrive in the third week of October. These birds include Waterfowls, Bar-headed Geese (highest fliers), Ruddy Shell Ducks, Pochards, Mallards and Wigeons.

The DFW is in the process of luring migratory birds by providing them with a shallow water body (with water levels between three to three and half feet) at Nagar Van, adjoining Sukhna Lake. The water body was constructed three years ago. Debendra Dalai, Chief Wildlife Warden, said, “The high water level in Sukhna is not good for migratory birds, which prefer shallow waters. We are not expecting many migratory birds this season in the lake. But we are sure that the water body at Nagar Van will attract a major footfall of birds as the water level there is merely three to three and half feet. It is perfect for most Waterfowl species depending on small fishes, weeds etc., for their food. Birds of these species ideally need four feet deep water, to be able to dive easily and catch food.”

However, sources said that the water body at Nagar Van is smaller compared to Sukhna Lake and will not be able to accommodate the huge number of migratory birds. Kulbhushan Kanwar, a local bird enthusiast, said, “The high water level in Sukhna Lake is a matter of concern for migratory birds.” A fall in the number of migrating Waterfowls has been recorded in the past few years. While in 2017 winter, 4,000 Waterfowls visited Sukhna Lake, it came down to 1,500 in 2018. The numbers were as low as 620 in November, 2019.

Altitudinal migratory birds arrived
The altitudinal birds migrating from upper Himalayas have started arriving in Tricity. These birds include Wagtails, Bluethroat, Black Redstart, Eurosean Roller, etc. These species are seen in and around local ravines, parks, gardens and even in residential areas.

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