KARACHI: Today (9th of May, 2020), when the world is observing World Migratory Bird Day, environmentalists wonder why lesser Siberian fowls are landing in Pakistan.
The decline commenced some thirty years ago and according to a probe, carried out during 2019 winter, some 70% lesser (150,000 local and migratory) waterfowl landed at aquatic destinations.
With the dropping of mercury (below thirty degrees Celsius) in Siberia the birds opt for Green Route. Out of 19 landing sites in Pakistan where birds descends towards the end of August, 10 are located in Sindh.
Following a brief respite at Thatta, Rann of Kutch and Thar coastal areas, they move towards Thatta’s Haleji, Keenjhar and Hadbero lakes. An enormous number of birds land at Larkana’s Langh Lake, Drigh Lake and the Hamal Lake in the Qamber district. They commence their voyage back home in the month of February with no trace to be found by March.
Savants say due to a number of reasons (lesser rainfalls, water shortage in the canal system, water changing from sweet to saline, release of untreated pollutants, over-hunting/netting, speed-boating and transformation of lands into fish farms, agricultural or residential areas) birds are opting for safer skies elsewhere. An expert has also insinuated that the 40 years of Afghan War too had contributed towards reducing the number of migratory birds.
World Migratory Bird Day is a campaign to augment awareness apropos migratory birds and the need to act globally for their conservation. This year the theme of World Migratory Bird Day is “Birds Connect Our World” and was chosen to highlight the importance of conserving and restoring the ecological connectivity and integrity of ecosystems that support the natural cycles that are essential for the survival and well-being of migratory birds.
António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, in his statement on the occasion held: “Migratory birds connect people, ecosystems and nations. Their epic journeys are symbols of our interconnected planet. World Migratory Bird Day is an opportunity to celebrate the great natural wonder of bird migration – but also a reminder that those patterns, and ecosystems worldwide, are threatened by habitat destruction and climate change. I urge Governments and people everywhere to take concerted conservation action that will help to ensure the birds’ survival — and our own.”
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