Haryana wildlife dept starts sampling bird droppings

Five days after the confirmation of avian flu in geese at Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh, teams of the Haryana wildlife and animal husbandry departments have started taking samples of the droppings wildlife birds in forests and wetlands across the state.
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Updated on Dec 20, 2014 08:51 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By Rajesh Moudgil, Chandigarh

Five days after the confirmation of avian flu in geese at Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh, teams of the Haryana wildlife and animal husbandry departments have started taking samples of the droppings wildlife birds in forests and wetlands across the state.

While the state government had put the area of Panchkula, falling in proximity to the Sukhna Lake area, under surveillance last Wednesday - the day avian flu (H5N1) was confirmed in geese at the lake - it has subsequently spread the surveillance to all forests, wetlands and lakes in Panchkula, including Kaushalya dam and lakes in the Morni hills.

"Since Friday, we have also started a similar surveillance in all forests, wetlands and lakes namely Sultanpur in Gurgaon and Bhindawas in Jhajjar where the teams of wildlife and animal husbandry departments would take samples of bird droppings," Haryana additional principal chief conservator of forest (APCCF) RK Sapra, who is also the state chief wildlife warden told HT.

Stating that they were not taking any chances, Sapra said these teams would also be on the lookout for death of any animal or bird in the wild, for flocks of crows were seen over the bodies of geese at Sukhna Lake.

"Surveillance on all wildlife animals, especially avian species, is required as crows have a close contact with birds as well as animals - even at their carcasses, hence, we have taken these steps," he added.

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