KARACHI (PPI) - Excessive hunting, lack of water in Indus River, as well as, in Sindh lakes and too much pesticide spray over crops is resulting in landing of most of migratory birds in India instead of Sindh. This was disclosed by Coordinator, Natural Resource Management, Indus For All Program, Rab Nawaz, here on Saturday. He said that landing of migratory birds in Sindh has been reduced by almost 70 percent. In past, when the province had abundance of water in Indus River and lakes, around 0.3 to0.4million migratory birds used to land in Sindh, every winter season, he recalled. More than 400 species of birds have been reported from Sindh, out of which 196 species have been recorded so far from sites of the Indus For All Program, he added. A survey conducted by WWF-Pakistan in four sites of Indus Ecoregion helps in identification of 175 species of birds found in the area. It gives the scientific and common names of the birds along with the descriptions of the illustrated birds which helps with identification such as their size, field characters, seasonal plumages (breeding or non-breeding), status (resident or migrant) and habitat, he maintained. He elaborated the coloured sketches show the birds with their most important identification features. In many cases birds having different plumage in different (breeding or non-breeding) seasons, or having different between male and female plumage, are shown likewise. He further said that description of birds has been divided into four sections including Water birds, Birds of prey, Songbirds and others. Most of these birds are commonly seen during proper season, while some others have become very rare during the recent past such as Spotbill Duck, Cotton Teal, Marbled Teal, Painted Snipe and vultures. Poaching of migratory birds starts from Chitral and also gets peak in Punjab, Balochistan and Sindh. A large number of guest birds fall prey to poaching in Pakistan, while they are relatively secure in India as stern action is taken against even influential poachers there, he said adding: There is no proper checking in our country to discourage poaching, particularly over hunting of birds. He noted that fresh water lakes in Sindh are being polluted or dried up rapidly while Indus River is also facing shortage, or low quantity of water release. Migratory birds, particularly, land in areas with abundant fresh water, like Manchhar and Keenjhar lakes and Nara Canal areas. He disclosed that indigenous people used to catch birds from Keenjhar Lake and then sell them in Karachi at Rs80 to Rs150 per couple. Poaching of birds from Manchhar lake, Nara Canal Complex and lakes in Thatta is also being reported, he added. Responding to a question, the expert revealed that Houbara Bustard migrates to Pakistan and India from Central Asian States in months of October and November. In Pakistan, most of this species land in Balochistan, however, a number of them also land in Nara Canal areas, especially located in Sanghar district of Sindh. He added that influential including foreign guests are involved in poaching of Hobara Bustard while local people are also found in catching this bird alive to earn a money by selling it. He maintained that Nara Canal Complex is famous for habitat for migratory birds. In reply to another query, he stated that most of waterfowls in Pakistan migrates from Africa. Some of them used to land in Balochistan, Sindh and Southern Punjab while remaining continue their fly to India where they find abundance of water in Indian lakes. Keenjhar lake and other lakes of Thatta and Sanaghar are habitat for waterfowls in Sindh, he added. When asked whether any organisation is working for conservation of birds in Sindh, he replied that WWF-Pakistan and IUCN have continued their work in this regard but there is no representation in Pakistan of Bird Life International, an organisation renowned for bird conservation. He maintained that due to lack of water, no much landing of birds in natural habitats for birds in Sindhs ROBD and LOBD areas is being reported. Toxicity in crops due to pesticides is also causing a death of a large number of birds, he added. He claimed there is no much landing of guest birds in Keerthar Mountain Range, however, the area is rich with resident bird species.