Sultanpur National Park Witnesses Decline in Migratory Birds

January 25, 2024 – The Sultanpur National Park, located in Farrukhnagar, Gurugram, is grappling with a notable decrease of 20-30 per cent in the population of migratory birds during this season, as reported by forest department officials. Rajesh Chahal, a wildlife inspector in Gurugram, expressed concern over the decline, indicating that the current count of migratory birds stands at 8-10,000, significantly lower than the anticipated 15,000 birds at this time of the year.

Seasonal Patterns and Changing Dynamics

Typically, migratory birds start arriving at Sultanpur Park by the first week of October, and the numbers peak around 22,000 by the end of January each year. However, this season has witnessed a potential deviation from the norm. Chahal remains optimistic, stating that they are anticipating an increase in bird numbers at the lake in the coming days.

Potential Causes for Decline

Chahal speculated on the possible reasons for the reduced migration, pointing towards temperature fluctuations as a significant factor. Migratory birds, originating from cold regions such as Siberia, Central Asia, and Europe, typically seek warmer climates during winter. If the local temperatures remain higher than usual, the birds might choose to stay in their current locations. Despite expectations of a temperature drop, the levels have remained consistent, impacting the birds’ migration patterns.

Environmental Factors and Smog Influence

The wildlife inspector also highlighted the role of environmental factors, including smog, in altering the migratory patterns. While acknowledging that reduced bird migration has been observed across the country, Chahal stressed the potential impact of smog as a contributing factor.

Contrasting Wetland Experiences

Notably, other wetlands in Chandu, Basai, and Najafgarh have also witnessed a substantial decline, with a reported 40 per cent reduction in bird numbers. Chahal explained that Sultanpur Park benefits from protection measures, unlike Basai, Chandu, and Najafgarh, where increased human activities and interference have disrupted the smaller wetlands, leading to a drastic reduction in migratory bird populations.

Sultanpur Park: A Biodiverse Haven

Sultanpur Park boasts a diverse range of around 250 bird species, making it a significant conservation area. Covering an area of 1.42 sq km, the park holds the distinction of being not only a national park and wildlife sanctuary but also a Ramsar site since 2021.

As environmental shifts continue to impact migratory patterns, wildlife enthusiasts and conservationists are closely monitoring developments at Sultanpur National Park, hoping for a resurgence in bird numbers in the days to come. Stay tuned for further updates on this evolving ecological scenario.

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