Daily News Analysis

27 migratory birds found dead at wildlife sanctuary in Himachal  

30th March, 2021 Environment

Context: As many as 27 migratory birds have been reported dead on account of avian influenza in the Pong Dam Wildlife Sanctuary area of Himachal Pradesh since March 25, setting off alarm bells and forcing authorities to shut down the sanctuary.

 

Details:

  • 14 migratory birds, mostly bar-headed geese, were found dead at the sanctuary on March 25.
  • Migratory birds are on their way back to their breeding grounds in central Asia.
  • Some of them may be infected because immunity levels are low as they are coming from different wetlands.
  • Earlier in January this year, avian influenza (H5N1) led to the death of over 5,000 migratory birds in the Pong Dam Wildlife Sanctuary area in Kangra district of the State.

 

Avian Influenza:

  • Avian influenza refers to the disease caused by infection with avian (bird) influenza (flu) Type A viruses.
  • These viruses occur naturally among wild aquatic birds worldwide and can infect domestic poultry and other bird and animal species.
  • Avian flu viruses do not normally infect humans.
  • These viruses occur naturally among wild aquatic birds worldwide and can infect domestic poultry and other bird and animal species.
  • Avian influenza A viruses are very contagious among birds and some of these viruses can sicken and even kill certain domesticated bird species including chickens, ducks, and turkeys.

 

Pong Dam Sanctuary:

  • Pong Dam Sanctuary also known as Pong Dam Reservoir or Pong Dam Lake.
  • Pong Dam Sanctuary is also a national wetland.
  • It was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1983, and is now also a Ramsar site.
  • Migratory birds from all over Hindukush Himalayas and also as far as Siberia come here during winter.
  • The sanctuary area is covered with tropical and sub-tropical forests, which shelters a great number of Indian Wildlife animals.
  • The lake is fed by Beas River and its numerous perennial tributaries such as Gaj, Neogal, Binwa, Uhl, Bangana, and Baner.
  • Flora: Eucalyptus, acacia, jamun, shisham, mango, mulberry, ficus, kachanar, amla and prunus.
  • Fauna: Barking deer, sambar, wild boars, nilgai, leopards and oriental small-clawed otters. Fish: Labeo, rohita, mahasheer, singhara, sal, gad.
  • Avian-Fauna: Black-headed gulls, Red neck grebes, plovers, terns, ducks, water-fowl egrets, and more.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/27-migratory-birds-found-dead-at-wildlife-sanctuary-in-himachal/article34186454.ece