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Pakistan's war against terror affects migratory birds

world Updated: Nov 05, 2009 15:31 IST

IANS
Highlight Story

The escalating war against terrorism in Pakistan has affected migratory birds as their route has been disturbed.

An unusual delay in the arrival of migratory birds to Sindh this winter can be attributed to the war on terror, a Pakistani official has said.

Sindh Wildlife Department (SWD) officials observed that the number of these migratory birds has been decreasing for the past few years and "the war on terror has been cited as the major reason for this".

SWD Deputy Conservator Ghulam Sarwar Jamali told The News in Karachi on Thursday that military action in Pakistan and Afghanistan has rendered the natural flight routes of these birds unsafe.

"Their route has been disturbed and this has compelled the visiting species to move towards an alternate direction," he was quoted as saying.

The journey of migratory birds, especially waterfowls, starts from Siberia and ends in south Asia. This is a 4,500-km journey, during which the birds stay at different water bodies.

These birds fly through Afghanistan over the migration route called 'Indus Flyway No 4' or 'Green Route'. They cross the Khyber Pass, and follow the Indus, Bolan and Hub rivers to different areas.

Jamali said that the frequent wars in Pakistan and Afghanistan have forced the birds to change the routes that they have been using for generations.

Another major reason for the delay in the arrival of these birds in Sindh this year is climate change.

Usually, the migratory birds start reaching tailend freshwater lakes from mid-October but the weather this time is not as chilly as it used to be in the past.

The official said that a few migratory birds, however, have arrived in the northern parts of Sindh near freshwater lakes in Larkana and Dadu districts.

The Pakistani Army is battling the Taliban guerrillas in mountainous South Waziristan. The Taliban has hit back by carrying out a spate of terror attacks in various parts of the country, including capital Islamabad. Over 200 people have been killed in the latest terror strikes that began on Oct 5.