Gorano declared new habitat for migratory birds in Thar

KARACHI  –   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has recently prepared an ecological report on advent of migration of different species of birds. The report says that Gorano pond which is a unique wetland of deep subsoil saline water pumped out from Thar coal mine has attracted various ‘piscivorous’ birds (those that feed on fish) and several other birds of different species.

The ecological bird survey report further says that during early winter, the weather starts getting harsh in northern regions of the world leaving no choice for birds but to leave their home grounds and move towards comparatively warmer regions in the south.

In Pakistan, an estimated population of one million birds migrate during winter. Most of them prefer to stay on various wetlands of Sindh province since there are many large wetland complexes in the province. The Gorano wetlands provide suitable habitats and feeding opportunities to a wide variety of water and piscivorous birds and is, therefore, becoming a favourite wintering abode of many migratory birds.

These birds mainly consist of Little Grebe or Dabchick, White or Rosy Pelicans, Demoiselle Crane, Indian Courser, Eurasian Griffon Vulture, Steppe Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Indian Kite or Pariah Kite, Indian Roller, Hoopoe, Marsh Harrier, Indian Peafowl, Eurasian and Indian (Shag) Cormorants,  Indian Sand Martin, Grey Wagtail, Black Drongo, Bulbul, Intermediate Egret, Grey and Pond Herons, Red-wattled Lapwing, Blue Rock Pigeon, White-breasted Kingfisher, Little Green Bee-eater, Black crowned Finch Lark, Variable Wheatear, Crested Lark,   and many others.

The Gorano pond is situated in Taluka Islamkot of district Tharparker some 30 kilometers away from Islamkot Town. It is built by Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) in the middle of huge sand dunes valley and consists of 1500 acres of land. Earlier SECMC also commenced a successful pilot of fish farming in the Gorano pond with over 100,000 fish successfully grown in the saline water and termed fit for human consumption by competent, external laboratories.

Representative of IUCN Mehmood Akhtar Cheema while commending the efforts of SECMC said: “The Gorano pond is a unique wetland of subsoil saline water which has been created in the past 02 years by Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company. It is commendable that SECMC has successfully performed aqua-culture experiments in the pond and have created a source of promoting and protecting bio-diversity in the region. IUCN will continue to work further in order to help increase aquatic biodiversity of Gorano and convert it into a strong eco-tourism destination.” 

Commenting on the survey report, Abul Fazal Rizvi, CEO Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company said: “The Gorano area has fast developed into an important ecological site not just for the community but also for other species. With successful fish farming and aqua culture projects, Gorano is proving to be a rich source of bio-diversity in the area and can also contribute greatly to eco-tourism. We are thankful to the IUCN for conducting this independent scientific study that has proved that Gorano lake has now become a prized eco-tourism site which can not only attract tourists but also create new economic opportunities for the local communities.”

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