TODAY -

'Bird migration to Loktak Lake decreasing'
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, May 14 2011: The ever deteriorating environmental state in and around Loktak Lake and poor land use policy of the state are reasons behind the reduced migration of various migratory birds from other parts of the globe in the Loktak Lake.

At one stage, as many as 127 species of migratory birds used to visit the Loktak Lake every year.

However the numbers of species have been reduced to only about 44 in the past few years.

Moreover there are only about 20,000 birds flocking the lake at present, said Dr RK Ranjan, State Coordinator, INTACH Manipur Chapter today.

Dr Ranjan was briefing reporters about the two day observation of World Migratory Birds Day in a press meet held at the Manipur Press Club, Imphal.

Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), Indian Bird Conservation Network Manipur Chapter, Manipur Association for Science and Society (MASS), Generation De New Image (GENIM) and Environment and Human Development Manipur (EHUD) are the organisers of the two day observation event.

Dr Ranjan said that the decreasing numbers of migratory birds in the lake clearly shows that the climatic condition of the state has degraded.

The world is observing the day since 2006 to create an awareness about the advantages of migratory birds and to save the endangered species of migratory birds in the world.

The theme for this year is Land Use Changes from a birds eye view.

Construction of tall buildings, dams has given a direct impact to birds and animals.

Birds tend to settle in suitable climatic conditions.

Unfortunately the situation is not same today due to the degrading climatic condition of the state, he said.

Some 20 years ago a migratory bird called Siri used to frequent Shiroy hill in Ukhrul district.

However they rarely visit the hill today since locals cut down Leihao trees the flowers of which was a favourite food for the migratory birds.

Solid waste and urbanization of Imphal city and other small cities of the state is also affecting the environment.

Moreover, the plantation of Jatropha to produce fuel which encourages mass deforestation is also giving a direct impact to the changing climatic condition, he said.

RK Chiranjit, president GENIM said that the Ithai Barrage is one of the main threats to the Loktak Lake and its degradation.

Siltation and the barrage are keeping the water level of the lake at almost a constant level which used to vary during rainy and dry seasons in the past.

This has turned out be a problem for the Nganu Thangong species to feed underwater leading to its decreasing numbers.

Birds in the lake often fall prey to people living in and around the lake.

Increasing population in the lake has also posed a serious threat to the migratory birds visiting the lake, he said.


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