Over 55,000 Migratory Birds Arrive At Pong Dam Wetland

Dharamshala: Around 55,000 migratory birds have already been arrived in Maharana Pratap Sagar, which is also known as Pong Reservoir or Pong Dam Lake in Kangra district of Himachal in north India . stating this Pardeep Thakur Chief Conservator of Forest Wild Life in Dharamshala said that the general counting is being conducted every fortnight, where as the annual counting shall be done on 29-30 January ,when is is believe that we have the maximum number of the migratory birds in this lake, which was created in 1975, by building the highest earth fill dam in India on the Beas River in the wetland zone of the Siwalik Hills of the Kangra district of the state of Himachal Pradesh.

The reservoir or the lake is a well-known wildlife sanctuary and one of the 27 international wetland sites declared in India by the Ramsar Convention.

Bar headed geese – Pong Dam water bird sanctuary (File Photo)

Thakur said, “the birds start arriving here in October every year and start their journey back in April next year. These birds come here mostly from Siberia, Central Asia, Russia and from many other countries. There are hundreds of species but we found Bar Headed geese in abundance.”

He further added, “we have appointed adequate staff for the protection of these foreign guests. Anti poachers team is assisting the forest guards.” He said that according to the supreme court guidelines, the special staff has been appointed to check the illegal cultivation around the lake. “We have also installed CCTV cameras in our main Sukhnada campus,” he added.

Dhauladhar backdrop of Pong wetland: Photo by Sanjeeva Pandey

The reservoir covers an area of 24,529 hectares (60,610 acres),and the wetlands portion is 15,662 hectares (38,700 acres). The number of birds visiting Pong Dam last year was 1.10 Lakh as compared to 1.27 lakhs in 2017 -18.

Thakur said that that we have more birds in the years when water of the reservoir reseeds much to give more dry space for visitors, birds friendly weather too attracts more of them.

Arvind Sharma is an award winning bi-lingual journalist with more than 20 years of experience. He has worked with Divya Himachal, Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhasker, Vir Partap, Ajit and PTI. In 2010, he was conferred the Himachal Kesri journalism award. He reports on the Tibetan Government in Exile, politics, sports, tourism and other topics. He lives in Dharamshala.

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