Nov 16, 2014
BAREILLY: The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve is set to have its first bird watching event as the forest department along with the Katerniaghat foundation is organizing a survey on November 29 and 30 to determine the number of different bird species inhabiting the reserve. More than 30 bird watchers and wildlife photographers from Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, West Bengal, and Madhya Pradesh will participate in the two day event. They will be divided in teams of four that will visit different parts of the forest to determine which species are present. “Even though Pilibhit is primarily a tiger habitat, many species of birds, including endangered ones, are spotted in the forest,” said MP Singh, chief conservator forest, Bareilly and Moradabad zone. He added that as nearly 500 species of birds migrate to the forest areas of Uttar Pradesh during this time, this survey will help in confirming the bird species presently found in Pilibhit Tiger Reserve.
The survey will be first in a series of three that are conducted annually. Each year surveys are conducted in the months of November, February and April. “First it is conducted in November as birds from European and other countries migrate here, February as migratory birds go back and only residential birds are left and in April because it is the breeding period of residential birds while local birds from other states like Madhya Pradesh migrate to the terai belt of UP,” says Suresh Chaudhari, vice president, Katerniaghat Foundation.
Each year, many species of ducks migrate from Central Asia, Europe and Siberian region to India and reside in and around the Gangetic planes till February. “Due to sub-zero temperatures and food scarcity during winters, these birds are unable to survive in their homeland. Hence, they migrate to lakes of the Terai region of the Uttar Pradesh for a period of four months and they go back by the end of February or the first week of March,” said Chaudhari. These birds species found here include Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, Red-crested Pochard, Common Poachard, White-eyed Pochard, Feruginous Pochard, Eurasian Wigeon, Coot, Mallard, Greylag Goose, Bar-headed Goose, Brown headed Gull, Rudy Shelduck, Crested Grib and some wader species. Similarly, some land birds from the Himalayan region also migrates to Terai region of Uttar Pradesh like Scarlet Minivet, Long-tailed Minivet, Verditor Flycatcher, Fantail Flycatcher, Great Tit, White Capped Redstart, Black Redstart, Blue Whistling Thrush and Rufus Turtle Dove. Critically endangered Bengal Florican and Swamp Francolin can also be seen in some grassland of Pilibhit Tiger Reserve. Apart from birds, many endangered wild animals like Cheetal, Hog deer, Sambar, Barking deer, Sloth bear, Leopard, Wildpig and critically endangered Swamp deer, Hispid hare, Four-horned antelope (Chausingha) are found in Pilibhit Tiger Reserve. Besides, as per last tiger census in 2010, out of 118 tigers in state, there are 30 tigers in Pilibhit Tiger Reserve.
As posted in Timesofindia.indiatimes.com