People, Environment

Drought Takes Heavy Toll on Birds’ Wintering Habitat

The water bodies of Mazandaran have been depleting for years.The water bodies of Mazandaran have been depleting for years.

Migratory birds that arrive in Mazandaran Province each year are facing difficulties in finding a wintering habitat this year due to the desiccation of wetlands.

As fall approaches, over 150 species of water and seabirds such as plovers and teals migrate to Mazandarn’s wetlands annually.  These birds arrive at their wintering habitat usually from early September to mid-November.  

The water bodies of Mazandaran have been depleting for years and as more wetlands have dried up this year, wintering sites decline, IRNA reported.

“This year, low rainfall, accompanied by excessive withdrawal of water from wetlands, has made the depletion of wintering habitat far more severe,” said Kourosh Rabiei, the head of Wildlife Office at the provincial Department of Environment.

“Fewer wintering sites will increase the population of birds in the remaining wetlands with the inevitable consequences of tight competition over food and in some cases more vulnerability to predation.”

With more than 800 wetlands, Mazandaran Province hosts several wintering hotspots for water and shore birds. These wetlands have a water capacity of 400 million cubic meters and are estimated to cover 17,000 hectares.


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