Context: A wildlife survey reveals a decline in migratory birds’ numbers in Harike wetland.
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- The survey was undertaken by the World wildlife fund (WWF) with the help of various Bird Clubs.
- The survey notes that there is a massive decline of around 32000 birds in comparison to last year.
- The 2-day survey was held with the help of bird clubs from cities such as Chandigarh, Amritsar, Faridkot, Jalandhar, etc. along with an association named Jagriti Samiti of Nangal.
- As per this the total count of birds was 91025, comprising of 94 species. In 2018-19, the WWF had recorded more than 1,23,000 birds at the Harike wetland.
- The birds arrive from the colder parts of Eurasia such as Siberian region of Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia etc. Where the temperature goes below 0° due to extreme cold conditions and high pressure.
- The lakes in this region also freeze due to extreme cold and the migratory birds start arriving from mid-October and stay till March.
- The prevalence of smog in Punjab region could be a reason for the late arrival of the birds.
- Delayed winters, in general, could also be a reason for such dwindling numbers.
- Besides, Common Merganser was spotted here for the first time.
- Other species found here are Greylag geese, peregrine falcon, bar-headed Geese, Osprey, Greater Spotted Eagle, Common Shelduck, etc were some of the amazing species which have arrived here.
About Wetland: A wetland is a distinct ecosystem that is flooded by water, either permanently or seasonally, where oxygen-free processes prevail.
- The primary factor that distinguishes wetlands from other landforms or water bodies is the characteristic vegetation of aquatic plants, adapted to the unique hydric soil.
- Wetland types based on their location, water salinity, and dominant vegetation.
About Harike Wetland:
- Harike Wetland also known as “Hari-Ke-Pattan”, with the Harike Lake in the deeper part of it, is the largest wetland in northern India in the border of Tarn Taran Sahib district and Ferozepur district of the Punjab state in India.
About World Wide Fund:
- The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is an international non-governmental organization founded in 1961, working in the field of wilderness preservation, and the reduction of human impact on the environment.
- It was formerly named the World Wildlife Fund, which remains its official name in Canada and the United States.
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