Hamirpur: As many as 12,314 birds of various species were found during the day-long summer bird count exercise at Pong Dam, to monitor the number of birds present in the Wildlife Sanctuary.
The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife-cum-Chief Wild life warden), J.S.Walia, said that the entire Pong Dam Lake Wildlife Sanctuary was first divided into 15 segments in connection with the exercise and 40 persons participated in the exercise.
Each section was thoroughly traversed, by different teams, both on land and along shores, with each team comprising 2-4 members with a monitor.
Dominant species observed and counted were the Cattle Egret (3,348), Little Cormorant (2,003), Small Pratincole (1,377), Little Egret (1,305), Red Wattle Lapwing (1,024).
Other important species found breeding in the area and recorded in the lake were the Little Tern (194), Purple Heron (173), Yellow Wattle Lapwing (55), Gull billed Tern (46) and the Great Thick knee (43).
He said that most of these are resident birds whereas the others are summer migrants like Yellow Wattle Lapwing, Small Pratincole, Lesser Whistling Duck, Indian Skimmer, Black crowned Night Heron and Blue tailed Bee eater.
These species visit Pong Lake regularly, from their wintering places in Central India during the summers? and over the last few years, Pong Dam Lake, also a Ramsar site has become an ideal destination for summer sojourn for many species of birds, Walia added.
He further informed that? 423 species of birds, 18 species of snakes, 90 species of butterflies, 24 species of mammals, 27 species of fishes have so far been recorded in the Pong Dam Lake and attributable it to varied habitat, food availability and extended protection by the staff of the Wildlife Wing which has involved the local communities in this enterprise.