Pong Dam – Kangra: Winter migratory bird habitat, Pong Dam Wetland has been host to about 1.30 lakh birds belonging to 90 species this winter, some of which have flown down from Siberia and Central Asia.
Monitoring the flocks, birdwatchers with the wild life department say the number of migratory birds could cross the 1.5 lakh number for the current season.
Birds that have been spotted in the lake include flamingos, grey and purple herons, egrets, spoonbills and storks.
Waterfowl species that have been spotted include bar-headed geese, pintails, common pochards, coots, grebes, cormorants, , ruddy shell duck, common teal, shovellers, moorhen, stints, lapwing, plovers, shank, snipe, gull, terns, kingfishers, kites, mallards, gadwall, egrets and marsh harriers, said a wild life warden.
More than 230 species of birds belonging to 54 bird families have been recorded at Pong wetland, which include resident birds of jungle fowls, peafowl, grey partridges and black partridges.
The site which has been declared a protected international Ramsar Site has already had about 15,000 tourists visiting the man made wetland and another 25,000 are expected to visit the site during the season, said Arun Sharma, director tourism.
He said Rs 10.39 crore from a Asian Development Bank funded project would be spent to create tourism related infrastructure at the Pong, which would include bird watching towers, a tourist information center, jetty development and development of Ranser and Karu islands.
Meanwhile wild life wardens have stepped up vigil to check poaching. A special Van Thana at Nagrota Suriyan has been set up to exclusively deal with poaching cases in the lake, said a wild life officer.
Photo Credits: Sanjeeva Pandey