Delhi Govt to carry out census of migratory birds

Delhi Government will soon carry out a census of indigenous and migratory birds and duration of their stay in the national capital.

PTI| Updated: Dec 07, 2014, 11:29 AM IST
Delhi Govt to carry out census of migratory birds

New Delhi: Delhi Government will soon carry out a census of indigenous and migratory birds and duration of their stay in the national capital.

The census will be done by the Forest Department, in collaboration with the Conservation Education Centre of Bombay Natural History Society.

According to forest officials, census of migratory birds has not been carried out in Delhi for a long time and changing patterns have been observed in regard to their visit to India.

"There have been changes in the pattern of migratory birds coming to Najafgarh hill, Asola bird sanctuary and other water bodies," said a senior Forest Department official.

"Also due to changes in geomagnetic zones these migratory birds change their tracks. So change in eco-habitat in particular do not affect them much.

"Further, due to heavy piling of garbage, there is a manifold increase in the number of kites as there are at present around 25,000 kites in Delhi. Also, there is an increase in crow population which could be affecting the visit of migratory birds," the official said, adding the counting exercise will be carried out both in winter and summer.

A proposal in this regard will be put up before the Lieutenant Governor by the Forest Department soon.

According to the education officer of Conservation Education Centre, Ishtiyak Ahmad, there are currently more than 200 bird species in the Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary, of which around 15 are migratory birds including black red start, thrushes, scops owl and red breasted flycatchers.

According to the Forest Department official, this year more birds have arrived at Najafgarh jheel as compared to Okhla Bird Sanctuary that has been the resting zone of migratory birds for decades.

Around 16 foreign species and over 5,000 birds have been sighted at the Najafgarh area this season, while just seven foreign species and less than 1,000 birds were seen at the Okhla sanctuary.

"It is primarily because of the pollution... The Okhla wetland has virtually been turned into a waste dumping ground and the area has become contaminated. Also human invasion is a factor which is contributing to the decline in the number of the seasonal visitors," said Ahmad.