With more than 1.25 lakh winged guests thronging Punjab’s four wetlands, the number of migratory birds arriving in the state remained consistent this season.

While the percentage of migratory birds which arrived at Harike wetland this year has gone down by almost 30 per cent, the number of species spotted has gone up by six.

Despite registration of an FIR against the contractors indulging in illegal poaching and fishing within and outside the wildlife sanctuary of Harike Pattan, flouting the blanket ban, the police have not been able to arrest any of them.

About ten days ago, wildlife officials got the FIR registered against Mehla Singh, chairman of the Harike Pattan Mandi Board, Bitta, a village sarpanch, Dharam S

Poaching of fish in the Harike Wetlands, where the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) intends to conduct a bio-monitoring project, threatens to endanger the wildlife habitat in the sanctuary.

Information with The Indian Express reveals that in the last two months alone, authorities have booked five people under the Wildlife Protection Act for poaching and destruction of the wildlife habitat in Harike.

To study bio-diversity and the ecosystem, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has decided to carry out a bio-monitoring project on the Harike wetlands, the wildlife sanctuary that stunned conservationists after one of the world

The state of Punjab has been left with less than 1% of the area under wetlands. About 30 wetlands, most of which are of natural origin were reported to occur in the state although some have already lost their wetland characteristics.

Harike (Ferozepur), February 4

The two-day census carried out in Harike wildlife sanctuary, which concluded on February 1, 2010, has revealed that the new species of birds had come to this wetland this winter season for the first time.

In an ambitious project to study the changing trends of the bird population, migration and biodiversity besides a proper documentation of the Harike wetland and sanctuary, the Punjab Wildlife Department has decided to conduct a survey of the birds.

Harike, one of the largest wetlands of northern India, is witnessing the arrival of a large number of migratory birds from Siberia and Central Asia as the winter intensifies.

The Harike wetland, which came into existence in 1952 after the construction of a barrage on the confluence of the Sutlej and Beas rivers and was subsequently declared a bird sanctuary in 1982, has come under severe threat from the encroachers.