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Dying birds in Uri, Kashmir, raise concerns about Panchaal Kaaw

ZT Team Report

Srinagar: With bird flu now confirmed in as many as nine states across India, mainly in the north, there are reported cases of deaths of several birds in Kashmir’s Uri area, closer to the Line of Control with Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

As already reported, thousands of birds have died in Himachal Pradesh and Haryana in confirmed bird flu cases.

Locals have reported that dozens of birds, like crows and eagles, have been found dead under mysterious circumstances in Uri area in Baramulla district over the last few days.

The villages where birds have been found dead include Chollan, Dani Seydan and Parampillan, triggering panic in the area.

It is pertinent to mention here that areas closer to the Pirpanjal mountain range are home to Kashmir’s famed Pirpanjal Crows – locally called Panchaal Kaaw – who are known for their long life spans and an important element to ecological balance and food chain in Kashmir.

Although Pirpanjal Crows usually inhabit higher reaches of the Pirpanjal range, experts believe, any major impact from bird flu on these exquisite birds could impact several other species in the region.

Meanwhile, Chief Animal Husbandry Officer Baramulla Dr Syed Mohd Anwar Andrabi said that there was no need to panic.
“They (the birds) might have died due to starvation or cold. We are looking into it,” he said, adding, “A team will be sent to these villages tomorrow. They will also be collecting the samples for testing.”
(With inputs from GNS)

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