In Photos: How wildlife officers feed birds in freezing Kashmir


Wildlife official Ghulam Mohiuddin Dar and his colleagues are busy this winter in Indian-administered Kashmir, rowing out recurrently right into a frigid wetland to scatter grain to feed the birds.

They feed these migratory birds to maintain them from ravenous as climate situations within the disputed Himalayan area deteriorate and temperatures plummet to minus 10 levels Celsius (14 levels Fahrenheit).

Huge paddy fields and apple orchards are blanketed in snow after two heavy snowfalls since December. Scores of wetlands and lakes, together with components of famed Dal Lake, have frozen.

The cackles and cries of lots of of 1000’s of birds that go to the Kashmir area throughout their winter migration have lengthy been a welcome sound for the area’s inhabitants.

They arrive from as distant as Japanese Europe, Japan and Turkey to feed and breed within the wetlands nestled between the area’s mountain peaks and plateaux.

“They’re our visitors,” Dar says on a frigid day as he scatters grain at fowl feeding factors on the Hokersar wetland.

Officers say at the least 700,000 birds have flocked to Kashmir previously two months they usually anticipate extra to reach as temperatures enhance in February.

In current a long time, the numbers of visiting birds have declined, which consultants say is because of a mixture of local weather change and concrete improvement.

They are saying development round wetlands, gathered garbage and the altering Himalayan local weather are robbing the birds of their conventional watering holes and nesting areas.

In keeping with a current research by the College of Kashmir, the Hokersar wetland shrank from almost 19 sq. kilometres (7 sq. miles) in 1969 to 12.8 sq. kilometres (5 sq. miles) at present.

However the Indian-administered area’s tense safety scenario has made addressing environmental points more durable within the famed Kashmir Valley, an unlimited assortment of related wetlands and waterways recognized for idyllic vistas and flower-filled meadows.

Environmentalists are urging residents to additionally feed to the birds within the freezing situations.

“It’s not simply our official obligation to feed them but in addition a directive from God,” Dar mentioned.