More than 32,000 birds including 18 different species of migratory birds were sighted during the recent headcount of birds at Loktak Lake and surrounding lakes in Manipur. The bird count was conducted on January 18 under the auspices of Wildlife Wing, Forest Department.
Deputy Conservator of Forest (Park and Sanctuary) L Joykumar today released a report of the bird count at his Sanjenthong office.
Notably, the Wildlife Wing of Manipur Forest Department has been counting wild birds annually since 2011. This year the bird count was conducted from 50 vantage points of Loktak and surrounding lakes.
Altogether 32,853 wild birds including different species of migratory birds were sighted during this year’s bird count. Even though this year’s figure is lower than last year’s, previously unseen species of birds were sighted this year. More than 34,000 birds were sighted last year.
Out of around 60 species of wild birds sighted during the bird count, Whistling Teal locally known as Tingri was seen the most. Altogether 14,000 Tingris were sighted, said DCF Joykumar.
One area where maximum of number of wild birds flock together is the northern side of Loktak lake’s Ningthoukhong sector. The number of birds seen this year was lower than previous year perhaps due to trapping/hunting wild birds in some areas of Loktak lake. Different species of wild birds including migratory birds seen in different parts of Loktak lake indicated that ecology of the lake has improved significantly.
This improvement would help in delisting Loktak lake from the Montreux Record, he added. Environmentalist Dr Kh Shamungou who also took part in the bird count said that Common Crane was sighted for the first time in Manipur during this year’s bird count.
Moreover, Common Shelduck (Thangong Arangba), Glossy Ibis (Kakshu), (Grey Leg Geese (Kanga) and Mandarin Duck (Sana Nganu) were also seen after a gap of many years. Sana Nganu was sighted in Manipur way back in 1939 at Mayangkhang, Senapati before it reappeared at Keibul Lamjao in 2005. Sana Nganu was again sighted this year at Loktak. Sana Nganu species of migratory bird is a rare visitor to India, Dr Shamungou said.