Ornithologists in Bengaluru say the decline could be some ninety percent of birds which used to come to Bangalore compared to early nineties.
According to a study done by ornithologists from Bengaluru, only few number of birds are visiting the city in recent years. Unfortunately, two-third of the endangered bird species are threatened in the global level because of habitat loss, and all of them are not migratory.
From January 1996, birdwatchers in Bangalore used to count the number of water birds found in our lakes. The birds which wade into the shoreline, called shore-birds, are reduced and hardly a few can be seen in those sites today, which used to be there in hundreds or thousands in numbers earlier.
Mr Ulhas Anand, a birdwatcher said, “Ducks and waders have gone down in number. Diversity wise species like pochard, bar headed geese, pelicans are lost. We can barely see them in Bangalore. Some of them come from Tibet and others are from Siberia. All the birds have become rare in numbers.” E bird is one of the sites where the bird watchers can list their sightings of the and keep the track of these birds.
Many of the migratory birds are long distance migrants coming from Arctic Circle. Some of them would be covering an excess of some 24000 kms in their migration journeys. They are threatened in our urban areas because of the spoilage of the habitat. Birds require areas called ‘staging grounds’ where they rest before migration. This is one way to keep ties with the land.
Dr. Krishna MB, an ornithologist by profession said, “When urbanization happen the first thing that happen to the lakes was that the loss of the shoreline, the slopping shorelines were cut down and lot of shore birds vanished. Now the maintenance of lake is harming the bird’s life. People want open and clear lakes so when the green vegetation is removed in and around the lakes, the food chain is affected and we are losing the birds.”
Raghvendra B Panchapur, a Lake conservationist said, “If we want all the birds back to lakes, we need to follow the measures of the lake structures as per the Justice N.K Patil report which mentions the availability shallow water in the lakes, We need to have island region in between the lakes as diverse in greens as possible which helps the bird to come and stay. And human intervention should be as less as possible then only the birds will come back.”