JONAI, Dec 30 – The waterbodies of Daying Ering Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary (WLS) have come alive yet again with the twittering of several species of migratory aquatic birds with the onset of winter.
The sanctuary, having adequate waterbodies, is witnessing the arrival of migratory birds in recent times. As the mercury drops, more winged visitors are expected to arrive on the river sites. Many of them have travelled thousands of kms from their summer roosts, which are beginning to freeze and where food has become scarce at this time of the year.
Located about16 kms south-east of the historic Pasighat town in Arunachal Pradesh, the sanctuary is located in the midst of small islands as the tributaries of the mighty Siang and Sibya rivers flowing down from the north provide a model habitat for the wildlife to thrive. It is considered a significant factor in restoring the ecological balance of the region, besides providing security to the denizens of Dibru Saikhowa Wildlife Sanctuary and Poba Reserve Forest at Jonai.
The wildlife sanctuary covers an area of 190 sq kms. The erstwhile Lali Reserved Forest was declared as Lali Wildlife Sanctuary. The same was renamed as D’Ering Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary after Dr Daying Ering, a politician and social reformer of Arunachal Pradesh. It was established in 1976 and renamed D’Ering in 1986. The sanctuary lies sandwiched between the Siang and Sibya rivers in East Siang district.
The physiography of the area comprises of riverine plains and the floristic composition is mainly of thatch and various types of grasses. There are river plains of both the Siang and Sibya in the sanctuary. The rich flora and fauna of the wildlife sanctuary provides quality habitat for some globally threatened species of birds like the endangered vultures and Bengal Florican (Houbaropsis bengalensis). Thewildlife sanctuary is also home to more than 16 mammalian species, including chital, hog deer, water buffalo, leopard, langur and elephants, besides several other birds and animals.
It is observed that migratory birds, including Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea), great cormonant (phalacrocorax carbo), and many other colourful water birds are spotted in the waterbodies of D’Ering Wildlife Sanctuary during the onset of the winter season.
However, wildlife officials annually witness arrival of more avian visitors to the numerous waterbodies during early February each year.
It may be mentioned here that a large number of researchers, students and tourists from different parts of the country and abroad flock to the wildlife sanctuary to see the birds in winter. The pristine surroundings and clean environment around the sanctuary provides ample scope for the place to be developed in future into an eco-tourism hotspot.