Number of migratory birds grows steadily in Indawgyi Wildlife Sanctuary

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Various species of migratory birds hibernate at Indawgyi Wildlife Sanctuary in Mohnyin Township, Kachin State.  Photo: Kanu

In a bid to escape the extreme weather, the migratory birds in the North are steadily entering the Indawgyi Wildlife Sanctuary as a stopover in winter.
The migraotry birds arrived at the lake early, starting from September 2021. More than 26,000 birds including 49 waterbird species flocked to the lake in November. The winged visitors keep flocking to the lake in December.
Over 4,000 Wandering Whistling ducks, 100 common cranes, 1,500 seagulls, 1,500 ferruginous duck, 3,000 common coots, 1,000 wild geese and over 4,000 Tufted ducks appeared in the lake this month. ASEAN Water Bird Census will be carried out on 8-9 January 2022. The majority of the migratory bird species can be witnessed in January. A team comprising Indawgyi Wildlife Sanctuary’s staff and faculty members from Mohnyin University, the ecotourism organizations from Mandalay and birdlovers from Myitkyina, Mandalay and Indawgyi areas has conducted bird census since 2016.
Indawgyi Wildlife Sanctuary became a stopover for over 30,000 migratory birds (50 species) last winter. The endangered species such as five mallards and four ruddy shelducks stayed at the lake as well. It is expected to see them in the lake this year either.
Indawgyi Lake has an area of 100 square miles and the Ramsar sites expand across 214.76 square miles. The lake is packed with the migratory birds and birds orginated in Myanmar.
It is vital of importance to protect the migratory birds that flock to Ramsar site and inland regions for winter in Myanmar.
Every year, migratory birds flock to the freshwater lake, where there is abundant food, away from colder regions with frozen lakes and short food supply that make it difficult for them to survive. The primary habitats of the winged visitors are Indawgyi Lake, Inlay Lake, Paleik Lake, Pyu Lake, Moeyungyi Lake, the Gulf of Mottama, Nantha, Mainmahla and other islands in Taninthayi Region and then, they travelled long distances to the north in May for breeding grounds.
“There are eight ASEAN Heritage sites in Myanmar and Indawgyi Lake, Inlay Lake and Mainmahla islands have been set as ASEAN Ramsar sites. The officials are making concerted efforts for the sustianbility of Ramsar sites, with the formulation of law and bylaws. The conservation of wetland areas are also being undertaken to protect the habitat of the migratory bird. The entry of the migratory birds is earlier than last year. Last year, 55 species of migratory birds and 29 local species visited the lake.
We will collect the data of the migratory birds in the coming January. Indawgyi Lake, which is home to migratory birds in winter, is a pride of the country. This being so, the concerted efforts are required to conserve the ecosystem in Indawgyi Wildlife Sanctuary,” said U Maung Win, warden of Indawgyi Wildlife Sanctuary.
The seabirds and bird species form the North Pole migrate for the winter to various conuntries through nine flyway. They fly from their breeding grounds to wintering grounds to survive. Migration is the regular seasonal movement undetaken by many speices of birds. Migratory birds enter Myanmar through two flyways: Central Asian Flyway and East Asia-Australasian Flyway every year. As Myanmar both ratified the Ramsar Convention and became a member of EAAFP, Myanmar, in coordination with conservation actors and countries along the migratory pathways, is striving to keep migratory birds safe.
There are illegal gold mining activities near Indawgyi area and it can negatively affect the ecosystem. Thus, environmental conservation plays a pivotal role in protecting migratory birds. The sanctuary usually marks welcoming to the migratory birds on 10 October and a farewell is held on 10 May.—Nyein Thu (MNA)/GNLM

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