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news details
Chorus Grows Louder
3/28/2024 10:46:43 PM

A recent study published in Indian Birds, a prestigious journal of South Asian Ornithology, has revealed a delightful surprise: Jammu and Kashmir boasts a staggering 592 bird species.
This number marks a significant increase from the 555 recorded in the last checklist for the region (which included Ladakh) in 2020.
This upward trend is particularly encouraging as it suggests a healthier ecosystem in Jammu and Kashmir. Birds are vital ecological indicators, and their presence and abundance reflect the overall health of their habitats.
The addition of 37 species not previously documented points towards a thriving environment that supports a wider variety of avian life.
The study sheds light on a crucial factor behind this positive development: increased exploration. Previously unexplored areas within Jammu and Kashmir, particularly in the north and central Kashmir Valley, the Shiwaliks and parts of the Lesser Himalaya, and the southern plains of Jammu Division, have emerged as havens for birdlife.
These discoveries highlight the importance of continued exploration and research in understanding the region’s rich biodiversity.
This surge in bird diversity presents a wealth of opportunities. With birding gaining popularity as a sustainable recreational activity, Jammu and Kashmir has the potential to become a premier birding destination in India.
The newly discovered species add to the already impressive list of resident and migratory birds, attracting birdwatchers from across the country and even the globe. This influx of eco-tourists can contribute significantly to the local economy, promoting responsible tourism practices and fostering a sense of pride in the region’s natural heritage.
However, amidst this celebration, a note of caution is necessary. The study also reveals that 25 of the documented bird species are classified as globally threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List. This underlines the need for robust conservation efforts to ensure the continued survival of these vulnerable birds.
Protecting their habitats, addressing threats like poaching and habitat loss, and promoting community-based conservation initiatives are crucial steps in safeguarding Jammu and Kashmir’s avian treasures.
The rising chorus of birds in Jammu and Kashmir is a melody of hope. It signifies a healthier environment, exciting birding opportunities, and the potential for sustainable tourism. However, ensuring the long-term survival of this avian symphony requires a commitment to conservation. By protecting their habitats and fostering responsible tourism practices, we can ensure that the skies of Jammu and Kashmir continue to resonate with the calls of a diverse and thriving bird population.
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