Central Asia Flyway
What is a Flyway? Have you heard of it? You might have. But here it not about any IT terms. Flyway is the route taken by migratory birds on their journey from their breeding places to wintering places. Countries are taking quite some actions to protect Flyways in the world. Wind farms, power distribution network they all have impacts on migratory birds, so governments are taking appropriate actions to reduce the impact of these on flyways and so on migrating birds. Three migratory flyways cross Asia are the West Pacific Flyway, East-Asian Australasian Flyway, and the West Asian Flyway. But here we will talk about Central Asian Flyway. This flyway covers a very large area and touches two continents Asia and Europe or Eurasia. Central Asia Flyway is not a single route but comprises several important migrant routes. So let us explore in this article a bit about Central Asia Flyway. We know that birds all over the world, annually migrate from their breeding (summer) place to their non breeding (winter) grounds. This journey is long for the birds. Why do birds migrate in the first place? Well in general terms birds migrate for primarily food and nesting locations. So they migrate from one place of low or decreasing resources to another place where they get high or increasing resources. This phenomena takes place in Eurasia as well , so there is Central Asia Flyway. Central Asia Flyway is also called Central Asian Indian Flyway or Central Asian - South Asian Flyway. Between the Arctic ocean and Indian Ocean it covers huge area in Eurasia region. So when we say it covers huge area in terms of numbers Central Asia Flyway covers 30 countries of North, Central and South Asia including Trans-Caucasus. Some out of these 30 countries in Central Asia flyway are Armenia, Azerbaijan, China, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, UK, Uzbekistan, Bangladesh, India, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal and Qatar. Central Asia Flyway covers 182 species of birds, and around 280 populations which includes 29 globally threatened species which breed, migrate and winter within the region. Major danger though is that many of these species are declining in numbers rapidly and the wetlands and grasslands are threatened too. Wetland and grassland is important for these species but they are in danger because of uncontrolled hunting, habitat degradation, unsustainable water management, and lack of law enforcement and conservation capacity. India is major country in CAF as it supports 257 species of water birds. Of these, 81 species are migratory birds of CAF conservation concern, including three critically endangered species, six endangered species and 13 near threatened species. Russia is another core country in CAF area. Almost 143 species are located in Russia. So which are these birds who live on water land and migrate on the route of Central Asia Flyway. Well we already mentioned that CAF covers at least 279 populations of 182 migratory species. So let us know some names of bird species here. They are Northeren bald ibis, white bellied heron, Baer's pochard, Black necked Crane, Indian Skimmer, Masked finfoot, Socotra cormorant, wood snipe, black headed ibis, lesser flamingo, pygmy cormorant, Siberian crane, slender- billed curlew, sociable lapwing, spoon-billed sandpiper and more. For these birds the CAF routes include much of the Himalaya, Cold deserts of Central Asia and much more. In high altitude region of Himalaya birds like Bar-headed Goose, Anser indicus are found. But there is quite an immediate need of action to be taken to safeguard these routes and endangered bird species. For this all the countries not only in CAF regions but all over the world for other Flyways also need to come together to find a scientific and technology based solutions.