A meticulous counting of water birds began on Tuesday in the
wetlands and marshes of the Himalayan region of Kashmir, which attracts species
migrating from as far as northern Europe and Japan.
More than 100 wildlife officials and volunteers were performing the region’s second formal census, after scientists for years criticised less formal counts as unreliable.
Since last year, however, Kashmir’s wildlife officials have been working as part of the global effort led by environment groups in accounting for the world’s water-birds.
We’re now counting birds in a proper scientific way unlike guesswork done earlier. We are now doing it according to the internationally accepted guidelines.Imtiyaz Lone, wildlife warden
Last year’s census counted over half a million water-birds
visiting 13 wetlands in Kashmir. This year’s two-day count includes up to 21
wetlands. The results will be released in about a month.
Experts have said they expect the total number of birds visiting is declining because of habitat degradation and climate changes including more erratic rainfall.