Sariska sanctuary to be developed into a wetland: MoEF

  • Devendra Bhardwaj, Hindustan Times, Alwar
  • Updated: Feb 11, 2015 11:38 IST

The union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) is exploring the possibility of developing Sariska into a wetland as it is a promising water hole that can attract migratory birds.

Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) field director and conservator of forests RS Shekhawat said a team from the ministry, which was in the tiger reserve last week, had concluded that two spots in Sariska, Mansarover and Magalsar needed to be developed as wetlands.

The MoEF team, which was here to undertake the Asian water bird census, spotted 90 pelicans at Sariska.

Shekhawat said more than 10,000 birds of 60 species visited the Alwar water bodies this season.

“The birds have started migrating elsewhere due to the rising day temperature here,” he said. The forest official said Alwar had a unique habitat for such birds because the area has a lot of water bodies, spread across the district. He said these birds were spotted in large numbers at Siliserh Lake, Mansaroar, Somsagar, Karna ka Bas, Shaital pound and water holes of Kankwadi. Some varieties also bred at these places, he said. Leading the MoEF team was bird expert TK Rai, who said the water bodies in STR could soon find a place in the important wetlands of the country.

He said the lakes in Tehla region represented the avian biodiversity and needed to be preserved. “It is important that these birds breed here. For this, fishing needs to be stopped or regulated to create appropriate conditions for nesting and breeding,” he said. Some of the prominent bird species which were seen at Alwar this year are barheaded gees from China, greyleg geese from Europe, pintail, snowliver, coots and pelicans.

To make people aware of birds and their migration patters, a fair was organised at Mansarovar Lake on February 2. The Sariska Bird Sanctuary National Park offers natural nesting grounds to different species of birds. Apart from the permanent residents the bird sanctuary plays host to a number of migratory birds annually. Among the commonly sighted birds at the Sariska Bird Sanctuary National Park are birds like the Oriental Whiteeye, Small Buttonquail, Black Ibis, Lesser Whitethroat, Eurasian Spoonbill, Barn Owl, Common Hoopoe, Jungle Babbler, Tawny-bellied Babbler, Inornate Warbler, Common Tailorbird, Greenish Warbler, Asian Pied Starling, Common Myna, Brahminy Starling, Chestnut-tailed Starling, Mottled Wood Owl, Temminck’s Stint, Spotted Owlet, Common Redshank, Wood Sandpiper, Collared Scops Owl, Common Coot, Painted Spurfowl and Jungle Bush Quail.

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