Migratory birds at Loktak Lake. Photo: Northeast Now

The number of migratory birds visiting Loktak Lake and its associated wetlands in Manipur has been declined comparing to the past mainly due to high water level and extensive use of LED bulbs for fishing purposes in the night.

Also read: ‘LDA causing more damage than conservation of Loktak Lake’

Manipur Forest and Environment Minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar Singh disclosed this while releasing a report at his office in Imphal on Wednesday.

A total count of 15,841 birds belonging to 46 different species were spotted against the last year’s count record of 17,333 during the Loktak Waterbird Census 2018 conducted on January 20 this year at 50 selected sites, using Water Bird Total Count Method.

This year witnessed a decline by 1,492 compared to the previous year.

However, Minister Shyamkumar announced that the first bird sanctuary of the State will be set up at Thinungei village in Manipur’s Bishnupur district as an initiative to increase the number of birds around the Loktak Lake.

The Government will declare Thinungei Bird Sanctuary as per the aspirations of the villagers of Thinungei so that the sanctuary has better protection and management including roosting sites. Thinungei village is located on the western side of Loktak Lake.

On the other hand, the Population Estimation of Wildlife conducted under the initiative of the Forest Department at Keibul Lamjao National Park witnessed the population of the State Animal, Sangai as stable.

During the population estimation in 2016, the population of Sangai (brow antlered deer), the state animal was recorded at 260.

On the other hand, the population of Hog Deer (Kharsha) at the Keibul Lamjao National Park recorded at 288, which is an increase from 276 in 2016. The survey was conducted for three days on March 22,24 and 26.

Shyamkumar further said there is a competition between two associated species Sangai and Hog Deer in the Keibul Lamjao, the country’s only floating national park.

Stating that Sangai population is stable while the Hog Deer population is increasing, he said, there is a need for alternative dwelling places/habitat sites for both the animals with proper relocation plan.

He said that as per the requirement, the State Government will expand the dwelling places/habitat sites for the animals for which public support is needed, particularly from those residing near the periphery of the dwelling areas.

He appealed to the public to support the State Government in its initiatives for conservation of wildlife and environment.

Sobhapati Samom

Sobhapati Samom is Northeast Now Correspondent in Imphal. He can be reached at: ssamom@gmail.com

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