Mumbai, June 4: Water birds, which are an essential part of the ecosystem, are on the verge of extinction due to rampant growth and developmental activities across the city. Mumbai,being blessed with an amazing diversity of water birds, it becomes important that we save these magnificent birds and their nesting sites.
The conservation of these water birds has been a major concern for the ecologists because if these water birds are not protected and conserved, it would be a major cause for an imbalance in the ecosystem. These water birds are however, protected under the Schedule-IV of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and hence it becomes necessary for us to protect them and conserve their habitat.
A recent report by BHNS states that a recent reckless destruction of tree branches in Bandra that housed a thriving heronry (group colony of water birds) and resulted in the death of several young ones is a great cause of concern. The droppings under the heronries also act as fertilizer for agriculture. Since, heronries are built on huge trees such as Tamarind, Mango, Peepal and Banyan even these trees tend to get protected by the locals on humanitarian grounds.
However, this recent incident of lopping off the branches of a tree, where a heronry existed, along with the presence of young birds and eggs, has once again proved that the water bird habitat in the city is not safe.
Commenting on the incident, Dr Asad Rahmani, Director, BNHS, said, “It is a criminal and inhuman act to destroy the home of birds and their young ones. I was out for field research for several days and was shocked to read about this incident on my return. Egrets and herons are protected species and play a vital role in the ecosystem. The culprits should be punished as per the law so that such incidents do not occur in future”.
It is being increasingly seen that on the one hand beautiful birds such as egrets are poached for their feathers and on the other their habitat is being destroyed.