Srinagar, Dec 01: Since his childhood, 20-year-old Farhan Ahmad Lone would take interest in learning about various bird species of Kashmir.
Apart from his regular academic studies, he would often visit various wetlands and forests to explore region’s diverse avian population.
A resident of Babagail Boniyar area of Baramulla district, Lone formed a group-Kaziranga Wildlife defenders, which works to explore and document different bird species of Kashmir.
“Since my childhood, I would spend time watching birds in Limber wildlife sanctuary and Dachipora wildlife sanctuary. After my class 10th, my interest in wild life grew more and we went to different wetlands including Hygam to witness and document various bird species,” he told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO).
Like Lone, scores of the youth have joined bird watching clubs which work to document the avian population of Kashmir.
Over the past few years, the popularity of birdwatching has soared in Kashmir, giving rise to the establishment of several new clubs dedicated to the art of observing and appreciating the feathered wonders of the valley.
From the iconic Himalayan monal to the elusive bar-headed goose, the region boasts an impressive variety of birdlife, making it a paradise for those eager to explore the world of ornithology.
As per Parvaiz Yousuf, Director Wetland Research Centre, Wildlife Conservation Fund, who is also a member of Salim Ali Bird Watchers Network, Kashmir is a heaven for bird watchers especially during winters when scores of bird species migrate to various wetland of the valley.
“Kashmir has 555 bird species. During winters scores of the bird species throng Kashmir from various parts of the world, so it proves to be a heaven for bird watchers. Bird watchers from the rest of India and abroad visit Kashmir to watch them,” he said.
Parvaiz, who is a part of a 90-member bird watching group said while few take bird watching as a hobby, some work extensively to document bird species.
“Most of the people join bird watching clubs since it is their hobby to watch birds. Few are photographers who click pictures of beautiful birds visiting Kashmir wetlands. Bird watchers have played an important role in documenting some species which visited Kashmir wetland either for the first time or after a long time,” he said—(KNO)