Centre asks NE states to keep vigil on migratory birds

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Agartala, Oct 28 (UNI) Alarmed with the threat of avian influenza, the Centre has asked the wildlife authorities in Northeastern states, to keep a close vigil over the movement of migratory birds this year.

Every year large number of migratory birds travel across the marshy lands of the NE region with the retreat of monsoon.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has asked the wildlife officials in NE to monitor the health of these birds and take steps to keep the wetlands clean.

More that a hundred species of birds from China, Siberia and Eastern Europe descend on the lakes of this region during this period thus attracting a number of tourists.

However, the Centre has issued guidelines to NE states this year to co-ordinate with department of health and animal husbandry. The wildlife wardens have been asked to co-ordinate with the ministry of health, department of animal husbandry and other departments to ensure safe visit of the tourists.

The Centre had also asked the authorities to record the number and species of birds, approximate period of arrival and stays along with their area of visit and appealed to the volunteers and bird watchers to report the death of any bird to the nearest forest or animal husbandry office.

NE, the habitat of about 409 species of birds, attracts lot of migratory birds like whistling teal, white ibis, open billed stork and some new species, discovered since 1948.

Wildlife officials said amongst the birds the spectacular Bugun Liocichla with an olive body, black cap, orange-yellow lore (the area between the upper bill and eye) and patches of yellow, crimson and white on its wings is worth watching.

Ramana Athreya, an ornithologist and professional astronomer, has been searching for the species ever since he first sighted it over a decade ago at the Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh.

He had spotted a pair of unique birds that matched Emei Shan Liocichla, a species that inhabits Southwest China, about 1000 km from Eaglenest.


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