By Ankita Garg :
It was from November that flocks of migratory birds used to descend on marshy areas of different water bodies of State capital. But this time, this scene is missing as, so far, winter has been warmer and this factor has delayed the arrival of migratory birds. Experts claimed that changes in climate and higher water level in water bodies is a major reason behind delay in arrival of migratory birds. State capital is dotted with sprawling Upper Lake, Lower Lake and dams like Kolar and Kaliasoth.
These are the places which used to witness chirpy sound of migratory birds. People used to watch them searching food in marshy areas and flying over the water bodies in flocks. But as of now, people are missing such scene as migratory birds have arrived in very less number till date. Talking to ‘The Hitavada’, Dr Sangeet Rajgir, State Co-ordinator for Indian Bird Conservation Network, a wing of the Bombay Natural History Society, said, “This year State will witness about 30 per cent drop in the number of migratory birds of different species. Though we are expecting delayed arrival of birds in Bhopal but their migration has been affected badly due to climate change and higher water level” Dr Sangeet Rajgir, during year 2006, Red Crested Pochards reached in more than 5,000 numbers but this year they are hardly 100 or 110 in count. Last year, rare birds like Verditer Flycatcher, Green Sandpiper, Little Grebe, Spot Brilled Duck, Copper Smith Barbet, Grey Frecolin, Eurasia Moorhehan, Siberian Stonechat, Western Yellow Wagtail and few birds were spotted in Barkatullah University of Bhopal. Apart from Barkatullah University, migratory birds also made their nest at Upper Lake, Shahpura, Van Vihar National Park and other water bodies. Dr Sangeeta Rajgir said, “Pollution is not a new factor for these birds.
When they cross Himalayan range, they passes through hundred of cities and states with varieties of weather and climate. Currently, pollution level is worse in Delhi and when they reach till Delhi, they simply get diverted. We are literally facing major loss of migratory birds which is not good for the environment chain” After the Sambhar Lake incident in Rajasthan where thousands of birds died due to botulism, MP Forest Department has also raised an alert for safety provisions of migratory birds. However, environment and geographical situation of Madhya Pradesh is appropriate for migratory birds but there are several changes in climate. The department has asked field officials to take all safety measures.
Every year large number of migratory birds visits Madhya Pradesh from October to February. Siberians birds cross the height of Himalaya and reach Madhya Pradesh and other few states of India due to extreme cold conditions. Forest officials said that they are doing special vigilance for protection of migratory birds in State. From October to December, lakhs of migratory birds visit the State and most of them come from Siberia due to extreme cold conditions. These birds live in state for about five months in the backwaters of the dams, lakes and ponds located in the plains of state. After four to five months, they return to their origin country town. Common migratory birds that every year come to Bhopal are Surkhab (Ruddy Shell Duck), common pigment teal, white teal, bareheaded teal, Goose, Nakata, Pink Tail and Pink Headed Duck Bird.