by Dr Amit Kumar and Dr Pankaj Kumar
It was a very beautiful sunny day and the day started with early checkout from the hotel and moving towards KEOLADEO NATIONAL PARK a Ramsar site as well as a World Heritage site. It is a bird’s paradise of native and migratory birds. After reaching there we interacted with Mr. Jatin, Dr. Yogesh Sharma, and Dr. Saleem Khan. Mr. Jatin gave us a brief introduction of this park. It is extended up to 29 square Kilo-meter and largely covered by the marshy land which attracts large population of migratory birds. 375 different bird species have been recorded here. It has one of the world’s most spectacular heronries. During the course of interaction, we came to know that there are few challenges in managing the park likewise water scarcity, Feral cattle and weed eradication. From management point of view park is divided into 25 blocks and water is managed by sluice gate. Weeds like water hyacinth, cassiatora, parthenium are eradicated timely. Mangur and African catfish are major aquatic invasive species which are strategically controlled.
We took a small ride of this spectacular site on Riksha. Driver of this vehicle also performed a role of guide. Their knowledge towards the flora and fauna of this place surprised us. In very short span of time, they shown and identified 40 to 50 different bird species and 15 to 20 tree species. During visit Dr. Parag Nigam sir also interacted with us and gave insight of park management. He discussed the role of duck weed in pond management and also role of dragon flies in insect management.
After a delicious lunch, we moved towards Sariska Tiger Reserve to start our next phase of training in a real field condition. It took 5 hours to reach Sariska Palace, the warm welcome and hospitality removed the exhaustion of the journey. It was really a heart touching memory. We enjoyed the day a lot and knew about the different birds. Thanks to WHB team for conducting field training at Sariska Tiger reserve.