Channa further said that the increasing water level of some of the aquatic bird habitats was also one of the reasons for the decline in the bird population. (Representative image)
As the avian fauna from Siberia start their migration from the homeland far away, it is worth pondering over the decrease in their number. The Chandigarh Bird Club (CBC) which conducts the bird count has found a consistent decrease in the total number of migratory bird species coming to the city. Starting from the year 2018 November census, the total types of migratory bird species that migrated to the city was 98 which fell down consistently to 91 in 2017, 86 in 2019, and only 77 species in November 2020, the Indian Express reported.
Why is the migratory bird population declining in Chandigarh wetlands?
Rima Dhillon, Secretary of the Chandigarh Bird Club was quoted as saying that the count of the migratory birds in Chandigarh is consistently decreasing. Amandeep Singh Channa who is a member of the CBC told the Indian Express that increasing encroachment of human population, disturbances in the specific habitats for migratory birds were the reasons behind the decline of migratory bird count. Channa further said that the increasing water level of some of the aquatic bird habitats was also one of the reasons for the decline in the bird population.
Birder Tilakraj Sharma told the Indian Express that activities like contractual fishing, cultivation of water chestnuts are being undertaken in the vicinity of bird habitats which is not only affecting the migratory birds but also the residential birds of the area. Citing the example of Mote Majra pond, Sharma said that activities like contractual farming are being undertaken in the area. Sharma also said that the increasing water level in the Sukhna Lake is also one of the reasons for the decline of migratory birds as birds prefer shallow water bodies for easy access to food.
What are the measures the Chandigarh administration contemplating?
The administration is making efforts to make water bodies habitable for the migratory birds. The local administration had recently constructed small floating platforms to help birds find secure footing in the water. Two new shallow water bodies have also been created by the Chandigarh administration in the vicinity of Nagar Van.