Mumbai: Where will the migratory birds go?, asks wildlife enthusiasts

Updated: Oct 06, 2019, 11:07 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav | Mumbai

Wildlife conservationist and birder Anand Pendharkar expressed fear that migratory birds, which travel thousands of kilometres, will be deprived of a home when they visit Aarey next

This picture has been used for representation purpose
This picture has been used for representation purpose

Even as authorities have started clearing trees at Aarey Colony to make way for the Metro 3 car depot, wildlife lovers and birders have expressed fear that the tree-cutting activity, which started in the night, could have a negative impact on the birds and their nests.

Wildlife conservationist and birder Anand Pendharkar from NGO SPROUTS said, "Tree roosting and hole-nesting birds will be displaced from their homes and will most likely fall prey to wild predators, such as leopards, pythons, wild pigs, jackals and feral predators. They may even get run over by vehicles. If the trees are home to a heronry [a breeding colony of herons], thousands of birds can be displaced at one go." He also expressed fear that migratory birds, which travel thousands of kilometres, will be deprived of a home when they visit Aarey next.

According to birder Avinash Bhagat, the trees at Aarey serve a different purpose for resident and migratory birds. "While the resident birds use the trees for roosting and nesting in addition to feeding, the migratory birds use the trees for a stopover. A majority of the water birds of Tulsi, Vihar and Powai lakes will be rendered homeless. The structures that will come up in the future will affect both types of birds."

NGO RAWW's Jayraj Naik and his team carried out an independent survey last week. In just 125 minutes, RAWW found 143 birds and 22 bird species.

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