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“Every day, flocks of different species of migratory fly into the wetland. And it is amazing to see them coming here as guests.”

You may not spot the tourists on the famous shores of Dal Lake this year in winters or rushing to the world’s top ski resort Gulmrag. But don’t turn away you have already half a million guests sailing into the waters of wetlands arrived from various parts of Europe, South Asia and Siberia in the cool environs of the Hokersar wetland situated on the Srinagar – Baramulla national highway ten kilometers away from the city.

From September 15, the first arrivals of migratory birds were registered at the wetland. Though it is an age old practice of Kashmir receiving migratory birds from across the world in winters, the number is fluctuating between half a million to one million.

The official at Wildlife Wetland Hokersar says that every year half a million to one million birds are visiting the valley.

“Every day, flocks of different species of migratory fly into the wetland. And it is amazing to see them coming here as guests.”

He said apart from regular migratory birds, some rare species of seasonal birds are also visiting this place. “Already grey leg goose, mallards, pin teal, garegney teals, showeller, ruddy shell ducks, common teals, wigeons, moorhen and purple moorhens could be seen feeding on the water pools of the wetland.”

He said staff at the wetland tries to provide favorable environs to the birds throughout the winter. “This is the only wetland in Kashmir where tens of thousands of migratory birds visit every year.”

And to preserve this wetland the J&K’s Wildlife department is preparing a management plan for the wetland. “We are preparing the management plan for this wetland. The plan will be submitted to steering committee headed by J&K chief secretary. The plan will then be sent to Centre for approval. Once our plan will be accepted the department will start getting central funding.”

 He said with sufficient funds the department can conserve this wetland in a proper way. “This time we get funds from the state.”

Spread across 13.7 square kilometers, Hokersar has now shrunk up to five or six sq kilometers The Central location and sufficient water officials say is the reason that attracts lakhs of migratory birds towards this wetland first. With the arrival of birds poachers too have started arriving in the vicinity of the wetland. The officials however say that they have already intensified vigil around the wetland.  “We are keeping close eye on the poachers. Our staff even patrols during nights to discourage the poachers.”







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