Aquatic bird diversity has declined in the wetlands of Bengaluru
Bengaluru, Dec 7th: Paridhi Jain
According to ornithologists, in last three decades we have lost 80 to 90 % of the aquatic bird diversity in lakes of Bengaluru. According to research by IISC, out of 193 monitored wetlands in Bengaluru, 92 % are encroached and polluted. This has led to decline in several of migratory and shore line birds.
Dr Krishna MB is an ornithologist and has been studying both resident and aquatic birds since 1970s. He says, “Strongest impact has been on the riverine birds like garganey, pintail and Shoveller. We used to get thousands of them and now only a ten percent of which was there earlier.”
Community lake rejuvenation has emerged as solution and been successful in bringing 212 bird species back to Jakkur lake. Annapurna Kamath is a founder of Jal Poshan and Satya foundation and a stakeholder of the lake conservation committee. She says, “In 2014, communities around Jakkur lake were brought together to start a citizen group called Jal Poshan. Together with local communities like fisherman and the government authorities we take care of the lake as a community partnership model.”
As part of the citizens group at Jakkur, projects like Jal chatra, shramdan and nature gurukul with students are conducted. In van Mahotsav every year, a lot of native trees are planted which attracts a lot of birds, butterflies and create a system of local fauna and flora.”
Dr. TV Ramachandra is a Coordinator, Energy and wetland research group, IISC and has been studying wetlands in Bengaluru. He says, “Solution is we should not allow encroachment of water bodies and we should allow lake connectivity. This is interrupted when people encroach the storm water drains. We need to retain the water in the lake, automatically will rejuvenate the ecosystem and all the biota including the birds will survive there.” According to him, this model of community lake rejuvenation needs to be implemented in all the lakes of Bengaluru. This is how we can solve the problem of water scarcity in Bengaluru and have winged visitors.