Migratory birds enjoy free space amid reduced human activities
ISLAMABAD: Reduced human activities outside due to COVID-19 lockdown has not only contributed to the revival of nature through lowering pollution level and limiting human interference but also provided an opportunity to the migratory birds to fly freely without any threat of poaching.
World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) was marked on May 9 worldwide through online campaigns and awareness events amid COVID-19 crisis to draw attention of the authorities toward conservation of migratory birds to save the ecosystem.
World Migratory Bird Day is celebrated bi-annually on the second Saturday of May and October 10 globally to draw attention to the threats faced by migratory birds, their ecological importance, and the need for international cooperation to conserve them.
Talking to APP, Associate Curator, Migratory Birds Section of Pakistan Musuem of Natural History (PMNH), Muhammad Asif Khan said the prevailing lockdown has contributed to the protection of migratory birds through giving them opportunity to move freely without any fear of hunting not only in Pakistan but globally.
The process of migration of birds starts in October or November when migratory birds move from Siberia through their flyways and enter Pakistan every year. While in March and April, these birds migrate back to their places.
He said the flagship bird species include Crains, Flamingoes, Pelican, Houbara bustard and falcons species like Sakar and Peregrine while there are a number of other species too. Asif Khan said recently a record population of Flamingoes has been witnessed in the coastal areas of India.
The lockdown amid corona pandemic has provided relief to the migratory birds through reducing environmental pollution as well as the risks of hunting.
He said in Pakistan, a large number of birds fall prey to the illegal hunting by poachers every year due to the non-implementation of the national and international laws which prohibit this practice.
The lockdown has also reduced environmental pollution significantly, ultimately recovering the whole ecosystem.
Asif Khan emphasized on enhanced coordination among wildlife departments and related organisations in the country for implementing conservation measures of migratory birds.
"Every bird species has its own role in maintaining the better ecosystem but unfortunately only few popular or flagship bird species are focused in terms of conservation to attract more funding while other species which are equally important are neglected", he lamented. - APP
To a question regarding any activity planned for observing Migratory Bird Day, he said no such events have been planned to observe this day due to the prevailing situation in the country. - APP