Friday, 18 September 2015
Pakistan receives a large number of migratory birds from Europe and Central Asian States every year. These birds spend the winters in Pakistan and go back to their native habitats in the summers. The route these birds take from Siberia to Pakistan is known as International Migratory Birds' Route Number 4. It is also called the Green Route or Indus Flyway. Out of seven flyways, Indus Flyway is one of the busiest routes. Birds begin their journey in November. February is the peak time and by March they start flying back. These periods may vary depending upon weather conditions in Siberia and in Pakistan.
Birds' migration is of different forms: diurnal (during day), nocturnal (night flights), altitudinal (from heights to lower parts) and latitudinal (from north to south). One of the reasons for migration is that food is not available in indigenous habitats during winter seasons. Other factors include changes in temperature, reduced daylight hours, and instinctive behaviour.
The Indus Flyway is important due to the diverse species of birds that take this route: Waterfowls, Cranes, Teals, Pintail, Mallard and Gadwall, and the list goes on. Some extinguishing species like White Headed Duck, Houbara Bustard and Siberian Crane also fly on this route for the deserts, sanctuaries, reserves and coastal areas of Pakistan.
Out of the guest birds two are especially important: Houbara Bustard and Siberian Crane. Houbara breeds mainly in the Kizil Kum Desert region, southeast of Aral Sea in Central Asia and migrates in winters, with a large number settling down in Cholistan and Thar deserts. The Siberian Crane (Grus leucogeranus) is one of the rarest birds in the world. It is snow white overall, with red skin covering the front of the head, face and around the eyes. Siberian Cranes, start from the Ob River basin in Siberia and prefer to spend winters at the Yakutiya River or the Poyang Lake in China. Some of them head for Pakistan. Experts have already concluded that migratory birds have ecological and environmental benefits and contribute towards the betterment of agriculture.
The number of guest birds is decreasing every year. Indus Flyway Committee established in the early '70s and later the National Wetland Committee established in 1996 have not been able to make any difference to improve the living conditions of the birds while they are in Pakistan. The situation can be improved only by dedicated efforts and mutual collaboration of all concerned.
Think of the world without beautiful birds -- singing, humming, flying, and fluttering, dipping, gliding and spreading colours in the sky, on the ground and on the water surface. They are symbols of life.
Guest birds come to Pakistan from far and away as a tribute to the varied topography and climate and natural diversity of our land, to make our country more liveable and likeable. As hosts, our efforts to help them live peacefully are a valid field of activity for sustainable living in the future.
Any bird watchers and bird enthusiasts out there?
posted by S A J Shirazi @ Friday, September 18, 2015,
Links to this post: