Birds from afar are flocking to the Telaiya dam this December, but experts worry that their numbers are on the decline.
Located 18km from Koderma town, the reservoir, tagged as an ‘important bird area’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 2017, gets migratory birds from Ladakh, Mongolia and China.
The guests — a birdwatcher’s delight — include the ruddy shelduck, bar headed geese, northern pintail, common pochard, tufted duck, Siberian stonechat.
Mithilesh Kumar Singh, conservator of forests in Ranchi and birdwatcher, told The Telegraph that he had been watching winged guests at Telaiya dam since 2013. “The number was over 10,000 six years ago, but now it is down to a great extent. Encroachment of the catchment area and agriculture activities are reasons. “This apart, the dam has heavy silt and can hold less water. Worst, due to the Barhi-Koderma highway widening, thousands of trees have been felled. All these have adversely affected the avian habitat.”
Indrajeet Samanta, a keen birdwatcher and Koderma resident, has taken up the matter of trees being cut to Jharkhand High Court.
Satya Prakash, the Jharkhand state coordinator of Asian Waterbird Census, said birds and wildlife never seem to be the priority of any government. “Leave aside big projects, the noisy behaviour of tourists at Koderma dam is enough to scare birds away. The way they chase birds for photographs is just not right.”