Inlay Lake hosts five rare hibernated birds


In Southern Shan State, Inlay Lake, a designated Ramsar site, emerges as a haven for 34 migratory bird species during the cold season, featuring five rare hibernated bird species. Notable among them are two seagull species, the Common Pochard and the Common Coot. These winged visitors, arriving annually in October, embark on an extensive journey from Siberia to Inlay Lake, while others from China and Russia make their way to Indawgyi Lake in Mohnyin Township of Kachin State. Departing in April, the migratory birds of various species find refuge in eight distinct habitats around Inlay Lake.
To counter the alarming decline of migratory bird populations across the world, the dedicated personnel of wildlife sanctuaries conduct annual counts of the incoming migratory birds at Ramsar sites in Myanmar. This crucial effort aims to conserve both the Ramsar sites and the diverse bird species they harbour. The East Asian-Australasian Flyway and the Central Asian Flyway witness the passage of over 300 migratory bird species annually, including around 500 spoon-billed sandpipers and Common Pochards, which face the looming threat of extinction in the coming years.
Across the globe, birds can be categorized into domestic species, regional migratory birds, seasonal migratory birds, and hibernated birds. Myanmar boasts a rich avian diversity, hosting 1,136 bird species out of the 18,000 found throughout the world, as reported by the Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association (BANCA).
Inlay Lake’s wildlife sanctuary, a sanctuary for 14 important bird species, witnesses a yearly surge in avian activity in late November and early December. Approximately 6,773 forest birds of 95 species, 9,938 water birds of 42 species, and 4,236 migratory birds representing 34 species converge on the lake during this period. Among them, five migratory bird species make the lake their temporary dwelling.
Beyond Inlay Lake, other regions in Myanmar, such as Indawgyi Lake in Kachin State, Moeyungyi Lake in Bago Region, Meinmahla Island in Ayeyawady Region, and Paleik, Pyukan, and Banaw Lakes in Mandalay Region, also attract hibernated birds annually. These natural habitats not only serve as safe havens for critically endangered bird species but also provide scenic beauty for domestic and international tourists, aligning with Myanmar’s saying: “A pleasant home hosts visitors.” Ramsar sites, natural parks, and wildlife sanctuaries thus become enticing destinations for nature enthusiasts to appreciate the beauty of sanctuaries and observe the fascinating behaviours of migratory birds.


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