Rare birds found breeding in Nara sanctuary
The Daily Dawn
August 27, 2005
By Shamim Shamsi
SUKKUR, Aug 26: During a recent ecological survey of the
Nara Desert Wildlife Sanctuary and the Nara Game Reserve, a team of the
Sindh Wildlife Department and the Halcrow-Pakistan observed some rare
sightings in the area.
Bird-watcher Abdul Razzaque Khan and Hussain Bux Bhagat, deputy
conservator of the Sindh Wildlife Department visited the area.
Mr Bhagat said during the visit to the Nara Desert locally known as
Achharo Thar (white desert), a group of four houbara bustards (chlamydotis
undulata) was sighted on Aug 7 in the Nara Desert Wildlife
He said houbara bustards were sighted during the first week of August.
He said the bird travels to Sindh from Central Asia and Siberia not
before the month of September.
He said the recent observation revealed biodiversity richness of the
He said August experienced high temperatures in Sindh and on the day of
sighting, the temperature was 42 Celsius.
This means weather conditions in colder region (from where this bird
migrates to warmer habitats from September to March) have become
unfavourable for birds he said.
Mr Bhagat said the early migration indicated global change in
environment and suggested lack of measures for protection and
conservation of nature.
A pair of a rare duck species like lesser whistling teal (dendrocygna
javanica) was sighted at Jari Lake in the Nara Game Reserve on
Previously, this bird was seen at the Haleji Lake in 1986 and in Sanghar
It is the first time that it has been sighted in the upper Sindh where
it nests and breeds from June to August.
This is oriental species found in South-East Asia from Pakistan to
Indonesia, West Borneo, South China and South India.
While globally threatened duck species Marbled teal (Marmaronetta
angusterostris) is still present in lakes of the Nara Game Reserve
whereas four pairs at Jagir Lake, two pairs at Dangi-wari Lake and two
pairs at Kathore Lake were seen on August 7.
Another pair of Brahminy starling (Sturnus pagodarum) was sighted
during its breeding time in the Nara Desert Wildlife Sanctuary on other
forest patch at distance of 14 kms North from the first breeding pair
observed during the month of July.
This trend of presence of rare and endangered wildlife species
recognizes ecological importance and biodiversity richness of the Nara
Desert Wildlife Sanctuary and Nara Game Reserve, protected under the
Sindh Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1972.
Marbled teal, Lesser whistling teal, Cotton teal and Brahminy starling
are passer migrant and summer visitors to Sindhs wetlands.
These birds migrate to Sindh from South India, Iran and Afghanistan from
March to August and after breeding, they migrate back to their parent
habitats during August and September every year.
The presence of these important wildlife species suggests more
concentration of the Sindh Wildlife Department for better protection and
management of diversified desert oriented wetland ecosystem of the Nara
The baseline study of the Nara Game Reserve was completed in 2001 and
the baseline study of the Nara Desert Wildlife Sanctuary was completed
recently by the Halcrow-Pakistan.
Findings of scientific studies require a comprehensive management plan
for these biodiversity rich areas which should be prepared and executed
for preservation of habitats.
National and multinational oil firms extracting billions of rupees of
oil and gas from these protected areas should also come forward and play
their role for preservation and conservation of endangered species.