Number of flamingos migrating to Maharashtra wetlands declines

December 15th, 2007 - 9:59 pm ICT by admin  

Pune, Dec 15 (ANI): As winter sets in, wetlands in Maharashtra spring to life with the arrival of hundreds of flamingos. However, this season the wetlands are witnessing a decline in the number of flamingos’ arrival, as their nesting and breeding habits are altered due to global warming and other environmental factors.
In tune with the annual pattern, this year too, both greater flamingos and lesser flamingos have migrated to wetland areas in Maharashtra, including in Pune, Thane, Solapur, Ahmadnagar and Satara Districts, but a bit earlier.
“These local migratory birds breed in the Great Rann of Kutch in India near Pakistan border. After breeding, these birds come to this area in January and February. And stay here for two or three months. But, this year they have arrived a bit earlier,” said Satish Pandey, an ornithologist.
“Actually, this change in migration pattern is being seen in all the birds for the past few years. Experts say the change is due to global warming,” Pandey added.
Flamingos easily traverse long distances and can cover over 500 km at a stretch in a single night. Although, their precise migratory route is not known, they come from Central Africa via West Asia to India.
They start arriving in India in October and stay till April. They congregate in vast numbers in the Rann of Kutch. A sizeable number of them are found in other parts of the country, including the Sewree mudflats in Mumbai and Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu.
However, in recent years, the population of these migratory birds have dwindled due to increased industrialisation, environmental degradation and climate change.
Moreover, there is the danger of poachers, who kill these hapless birds. Earlier this month, two men were filmed killing two flamingos in the Sewree mangrove swamp in Mumbai. They killed the birds for the sheer thrill.
The bird is usually killed for its meat. The avian species is in the danger of becoming extinct if such killings are not curbed. (ANI)

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