UNB, Dhaka:Tanguar Haor, a unique destination for migratory birds, especially ducks, is seeing the flocks of an increased number of winged visitors this winter because of improvement in its overall environmental quality.A new survey conducted by IUCN Bangladesh has recorded 52 species of migratory birds of 32,225 individuals this year against 17,204 in 2013 and 28,876 in 2012.The IUCN team carried out the waterfowl census in Chattannar Beel, Lechuamara, Hatirghata, Berberia, Rowa, Rupaboi, Bagmara Gop and Chattannar Khal, Ballardubi, Tekunna and adjacent Joipur-Golabari of Tanguar Haor from January 25 to 26 last.The team members included Prof Dr MM Feeroz, a teacher of Zoology Department at Jahangirnagar University; Sayam U Chowdhury, vice-president of Bangladesh Bird Club; ABM Sarowar Alam Dipu, assistant project officer of IUCN Bangladesh; Mohammad Foisal, secretary of Bangladesh Bird Club; and Istiak Sobhan, programme coordinator of IUCN Bangladesh.The survey team recorded 52 species of migratory birds from different beels, including some adjacent grounds of this haor. The highest bird population (11,684) was observed in Lechuamara Beel while the lowest population of bird (11) in Tekunna Beel of Tanguar Haor. Among the globally threatened birds, Baikal Teal, Falcated Duck, Red-crested Pochard, Black-tailed Godwit, Peregrine Falcon, Glossy Ibis, Little Egret, Yellow-billed Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Cattle Egret, Cotton Pygmy-goose, Falcated Duck, Ruddy breasted crake, Waterrail, White Wagtail, Citrine Wagtail, Little Ringed Plover, White-throated kingfisher, Common Kingfisher and Greyheaded Lapwing were found during the survey.Also were seen in plenty, Eurasian Coot (6,396 birds), Northern Pintail (4305), Little Cormorant, Eurasian Teal, Eurasian Wigeon, Mallard, Gadwall, Red-crested Pochard, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Ferruginous Duck, Purple Swamphen, Ferruginous Duck, Indian Spot-billed Duck and Ruff.The presence of one very rare bird, Baikal Teal, was recorded at the Lechuamara Beel while that of 10 very rare glossy Ibis registered at the Tanguar Hoar.As the part of Asian Waterfowl Census Programme, Bangladesh Bird Club conducts the survey in Bangladesh, which is carried out in January each year. The IUCN Bangladesh in association with Bangladesh Bird Club conducts the waterfowl census in Tanguar Haor. Improved habitats attract winged visitors.More migratory birds will visit the water bodies in Bangladesh if the water bodies could be managed properly to ensure safe habitats for them and keep the birds free from local disturbance, according to experts.”Safe habitats encourage the migratory birds to visit wetlands. If the migratory birds feel safe and secure in a particular water body, they visit it and stay for a longer period, bird expert Prof Feeroz told UNB.The winged visitors try to avoid local disturbance, he said, if the authorities concerned could ensure safe habitats and available food for the birds through proper management of water bodies and check poaching, more migratory birds will visit Bangladesh in coming years.Prof Feeroz said as the IUCN Bangladesh improved the environmental quality of Tanguar Haor through proper management, more migratory birds are visiting it this time. “Tanguar Haor is an example that shows wetland could be protected through proper management,” he added.ABM Sarowar Alam Dipu, a bird specialist of the IUCN Bangladesh, said local disturbance has been minimised significantly and reed land protected in the Tanguar Haor in the last three years so that the ecosystem and biodiversity of the wetland could be improved.”As we caught relatively less amount of fish last year from Tanguan Haor, the aquatic vegetable has increased in the haor this year welcoming more migratory birds to visit it,” he said.Sarowar Alam said, the government earlier leased out the wetland, affecting its environmental quality. Later, a community-based sustainable management has been introduced to improve environmental condition of the haor.Visiting trends of birds.Tanguar Haor is a home to thousands of local and migratory water birds. A large number of these birds use the aquatic vegetation for shelter, food and nesting.To escape freezing cold during winter, birds from the Himalayas and faraway places like Siberia usually migrate to relatively warmer swampy wetlands, low-lying areas and coastal belt of Bangladesh, but the pattern of winged visitors is now changing fast due to climatic changes and local disturbances.The waterfowl censuses in Tanguar Haor (1992-2012) shows that nearly 2.75 lakh migratory birds visited the haor in 2004 while 2.4 lakh in 2002, 2.1 lakh in 2003 and 1.9 lakh in 2005. The influx of birds has marked a drastic fall since 2005 while it was only 25,000 in 2007.