52 avian species observed in Ladakh under Asian Waterbird Census-2023

Updated: Jan 31 2023 10:50PM

Leh/Jammu, Jan 31 (PTI) Fifty-two avian species were observed in the 'Asian Waterbird Census-2023' conducted in the Union Territory of Ladakh, officials said. The GoI-UNDP Himalaya project and department of wildlife protection had organised the census between January 17 and January 19 in collaboration with Ladakh biodiversity council, they said. Of the 52 bird species observed in the census, 11 were sighted in Chumathang, 10 in Puga, 21 in Shey, and 10 in Phey along the Indus river, they said. The observations were recorded on the eBird app, which is an online database of bird observations providing scientists, researchers, and amateur naturalists with real-time data about bird distribution and abundance, they said. The total number of species recorded across all the birding sites were 35, out of which 13 species were waterbirds, they added. The Himalaya project and department of wildlife protection have been at the forefront of promoting citizen-science based bird surveys in the Changthang region of Ladakh.

The project was organised in and around two important hot springs of eastern Ladakh -- Chumathang, and Puga, along with other important birding sites such as Tso Kar, and Shey and Phey villages along the banks of Indus River.

The waterbird census was led by Padma Gyalpo, a known birder from Shey. The International Waterbird Census is a monitoring programme operating in 143 countries to collect information on the numbers of waterbirds at wetland sites.