Birdwatchers at Sultanpur National Park, a winter haven for migratory birds in Gurugram, are facing a puzzling sight this season. While the total number of feathered visitors may have risen slightly compared to last year, the diversity of species has shown a concerning decline. This raises questions about changing weather patterns and their impact on migratory routes.
Forest department officials report a 20-30% drop in the usual variety of migratory birds. The park, which typically welcomes over 90 species, has recorded significantly fewer unique types this winter. While the overall count stands at a healthy 55,377 – nearly double the previous year’s 28,000 – some experts interpret the change in species diversity as a worrying sign.
Rajesh Chahal, a wildlife inspector at Sultanpur, believes milder winter temperatures could be a factor. “These birds come from colder regions like Siberia and Central Asia,” he explains. “A less harsh winter might not trigger their usual migratory instincts.”
This theory finds support in recent climate data, which shows warmer-than-average temperatures across the migratory routes of many birds. This raises concerns about the long-term impact of climate change on avian travel patterns and their dependence on specific stopover points like Sultanpur.
While the overall number of birds offers some solace, the drop in species diversity remains a matter of concern. Scientists and birders alike are calling for further research to understand the specific reasons behind this shift and its potential consequences for the ecosystem.
As the mystery of Sultanpur’s changing birdlife unfolds, the park’s iconic wetlands remain a refuge for thousands of feathered travelers. But the quieter symphony of calls this winter serves as a stark reminder of the delicate balance nature maintains – and the potential effects of a changing climate on its songbirds.