A new survey conducted at Pong Dam has revealed that as many as 12,314 different species find home within the Pong Dam Lake Wildlife Sanctuary. The summer avian count was held on 23 June.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife-cum-Chief Wild life warden), J.S. Walia, explained that for the survey entire region was divided into 15 blocks with exercise and 40 persons participated in the exercise. People worked in groups consisting of 2-4 members and they traversed every area region of the Sanctuary including land and shores to identify the species living there.
Dominant species observed and counted were the Cattle Egret (3,348), Little Cormorant (2,003), Small Pratincole (1,377), Little Egret (1,305), Red Wattle Lapwing (1,024).
Other important species found breeding in the area and recorded in the lake were the Little Tern (194), Purple Heron (173), Yellow Wattle Lapwing (55), Gull billed Tern (46) and the Great Thick knee (43).
Walia further added that most of species are residents of Pong Dam region while some species are summer migrants including Yellow Wattle Lapwing, Small Pratincole, Lesser Whistling Duck, Indian Skimmer, Black crowned Night Heron and Blue tailed Bee eater. These migrant birds are visiting the Pong Dam lake area since past several years during summers.
There were 423 bird species, 18 snake species, 90 butterflies species, 24 mammals and 27 fish species at the sanctuary, the forest and wildlife department stated in its report.
The Pong Dam Lake Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Kangra district and is among 25 wetland sites in India. Also known as the ‘Bird Paradise’ it has become the favorite spots for migrant birds coming from Siberia and Central Asia.