Wildlife starts census of Wetlands in J&K

Aslam Waterbird census team at Gharana Wetland.
Aslam Waterbird census team at Gharana Wetland.

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Jan 13: The Department of Wildlife Protection, Government of J&K, is leading this census at various wetlands of J&K.
Presently joint teams of Department of Wildlife Protection Government of J&K in collaboration with WWF-India, Wetlands International, J&K Birdlife and prominent civil society bird watchers are conducting census to record waterbirds at key wetlands of Jammu.
This survey is part of the Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) and is being led by Dr. V S Senthil Kumar, Regional Wildlife Warden, Jammu. The AWC is part of the global International Waterbird Census (IWC).
This is one of the unique citizen science programme which is supporting conservation and management of wetlands and water birds worldwide. During the AWC at Gharana, 53 species of waterbirds were recorded. These included hundreds of Bar-headed Goose, Shovallers, Black-headed Ibis, Ruff, Bittern, Grey Heron and Pintails.
While giving details about AWC activities in J&K, Manoj Pant, Chief Wildlife Warden, informed that this year department has decided to conduct AWC at all the key wetlands of J&K. He further added that data generated through AWC will help in designing proper conservation and management strategies for the prominent wetlands of J&K.
Dr. V S Senthil Kumar, Regional Wildlife Warden personally supervised all the activities of AWC at Gharana. While addressing the participants of AWC at Gharana, he said that the presence of various experts from organizations like Wetlands International, WWF and J&K Birdlife will strengthen the credibility of this years census.
Dr. Pankaj Chandan from WWF, who is also AWC coordinator for the State, said that such activities will go a long way in connecting common citizens with wetlands and birdlife of J&K. This, he said, will also help in building strong voice for wetland and waterbird conservation in J&K.
Prominent among others who participated in today’s AWC at Gharana included Amit Sharma, Wildlife Warden Jammu, Parvaiz Shagoo, Rohit Rattan, Pavneet Kaur, Col. R S Slathia, Megha Latwal, Rahil Dutta, Sudesh Kumar, Asha Sohail and Joginder Lal.