Ganderbal, Feb 14: The two days Shallabugh Bird festival that commenced on 13th of February culminated Tuesday with a bird watching event organized by the Department of Wildlife Protection, Jammu & Kashmir Govt. (Wetlands Division, Kashmir) at ‘Shallabugh Wetland Conservation Reserve’.
The event was organized by the Department of Wildlife Protection, J&K Govt. (Wetlands Division, Kashmir) and the District Administration Ganderbal in joint collaboration with SKUAST-Kashmir and Kashmir Birdwatch.
Bilal Ahmad Sheikh, Vice chairperson (D.D.C, Ganderbal), Dr Raja Muzaffer Bhat, Managing trustee of Center for Conservation of Culture & Heritage, bird lovers from Kashmir University, S.K.U.A.ST-K, Kashmir Bird Watchers Club, Biodiversity Management Committees, students of Govt. Degree College Ganderbal participated.
During the event different bird species belonging to various shapes, sizes and colours were spotted by the bird lovers in Shalabugh Wetland like, coots, cormorants, egrets, mallards, pintails, Shoveler, Gadwall, tufted Duck etc.
Later, a local meet of fringe communities were organized in which Dr Raja Muzaffer Bhat briefed the participants that bird watching tourism has a high potential to improve the financial and environmental well-being of local communities, educate locals about the value of biodiversity and create local and national incentives for successful protection and preservation of natural areas.
He also emphasized the need of adopting effective measures for systemic conservation and development of Shalabugh Wetland Conservation Reserve.
The locals of the area raised different issues pertaining to protection and conservation of Shalabugh wetland and Rashid Yahya Naqash, Regional Wildlife Warden, Kashmir Region, Srinagar assured them, that department is taking concrete steps to restore the pristine glory of Shallabugh Wetland which is now a RAMSAR site and a home to more than 3 lakh migratory/resident birds.
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