Source: The HINDU :-
Montagu’s harrier and wood sandpiper are some of the birds that migrated to Bidar this winter.
Faced with its worst-ever drought this year, officials had taken up dredging of lakes and tanks in Bidar.
After the district received 50 per cent more rain than normal from late June to October in 2016, the waterbodies are teeming with water.
This should have been good news for all, but not so for migratory birds. In fact there has been a decrease in the number of migratory birds in the district this winter.
“We observed a dip in the number and species of migratory birds in waterbodies in and around Bidar. This year, there were only 30-40 species while normally there used to be 40-50 species,” says Major Praveen Kumar, a member of the Bidar Photography Society.
Birds, especially migratory species, like to nest at shallow and marshy lands on the borders of waterbodies, that are ideal for feeding, he said.
He also counts destruction of forests, loss of waterbodies, wetlands and other habitats due to encroachments and other reasons linked to climate change among reason for the decline.
He has urged the government to declare the Karanja Dam and other waterbodies as bird habitats that should be protected.
Vivek Hallikhedkar, a conservation activist and BPS member who has been photographing and documenting birds for ten years now, said that the district is fast losing forests and waterbodies.
“The pace of destruction is rapid while efforts to conserve waterbodies or protect forests are few,” he said.
He cites the examples of encroachment of Kamthana lake and the Naubad lake in Bidar taluk.
He feels higher awareness among people about birds will lead to better conservation.
Despite the decrease in the number of birds, members of the society managed to capture some rare migratory birds that arrived in Bidar from Europe and east Asia in Paapnash lake and other areas.
The most important was the sighting of three species of the Harrier family from Eurasia.
Montagu’s harrier, pallid harrier and eastern marsh harrier were observed in Bidar this year, Maj. Praveen Kumar said
Other species include bar-headed goose, common teal, red-crested pochard, gadwall, eurasian wigeon, northern pintail, garganey, northern shoveler, eurasian coot, kentish plover, common greenshank, wood sandpiper, temminck's stint, bluethroat, siberian stonechat, buntings, pipits, wagtails, warblers, flycatchers and eurasian kestrel.
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