2 months after bird flu outbreak, Pong Dam reopens for tourists
The Pong Dam Lake Wildlife Sanctuary has been reopened for tourists after remaining shut for nearly two months due to bird flu outbreak.
The sanctuary was closed early in January after several migratory and exotic birds were found dead in the area.
Deaths among migratory bird species were first reported on December 28, 2020, and the H5N1 virus was ascertained as the cause of death after which all kind of activities, including fishing, grazing and tourism, were stopped in 10-km radius of the lake.
The authorities had lifted the ban on fishing in the lake on February 8.
The Pong Dam Lake, built on the Beas river in 1960, was declared a bird sanctuary in 1983 and given the status of wetland of national importance in 1994. In 2002, it became a Ramsar site or a wetland site of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
Since 1988, 425 bird species have been spotted at the wetland. Most of these birds migrate from their breeding places in the trans-Himalayan region, including Tibet, Central Asia, Russia and Siberia.