Awareness

Endangered migratory birds

The birds from North spend winters in different wetlands and deserts of Pakistan, which are distributed almost throughout the country, from the high Himalayas to coastal mangroves and mud flats in the Indus delta. And, after winters they go back to their native habitats.

There is growing concern in Pakistan by wildlife experts at the decrease in migratory birds in the country. It is believed that some 80 percent decline has already been witnessed in the population of migratory birds in Punjab in recent years, mainly due to vanishing of forests, hunting, poaching, environmental pollution and massive construction activities.

The migratory birds which include falcons, cranes, swans, ducks, flamingos, waders and geese start reaching Pakistan early September till February and start flying back to Europe and Central Asia by March through a special fly zone commonly known as Indus flyway zone. There are, however, seven fly zones all over the world.

The United Nations has warned that 84 per cent of migratory birds have the potential to be affected by climate change. Lowered water tables, changes in food supplies and prey range, rising sea levels, and increased storm frequency are the biggest threats to birds. Around 19 per cent of all known birds are considered to be migratory, of which 11 per cent are ‘globally threatened or near threatened, hence making the situation very vulnerable for Pakistan.

Experts say that climate change will have impact on the species of prey just as they impact on the birds themselves severely affecting the populations of many species.

Migratory birds face a plethora of mainly human-driven threats: agriculture is degrading natural habitat, including vital breeding areas, and imported alien invasive species are changing prey and habitat patterns. Hunting and trapping, logging, an increasingly urban world, pollution and climate change all pose significant dangers to global bird populations.

Hence, it’s not just the government, but several governments that have failed to stop the illegal and indiscriminate hunting of birds. Also, there is no record of the number of birds hunted every year. The licenses also do not restrict the number of birds or animals that can be hunted.

The Logical Pakistani thinks that it is the need of hour to conserve the nature not only for human beings but also for migratory birds. Migratory birds attract the tourist from all over the world. So it’s our responsibility to cater this alarming issue on urgent basis.

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