Thu. May 26th, 2022
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Indiscriminate construction in catchment areas of the twin lakes will hit food availability and nesting spaces for the birds

Indiscriminate construction in catchment areas will hit food availability and nesting spaces

Withdrawal of immunity to the catchment areas of Himayatsagar and Osmansagar lakes could not only affect the city in terms of drinking water supply and floods, but also drastically decimate the avian species that the lakes have hosted so generously over decades.

Scrapping of GO 111, which restricted construction in the lake catchment areas, may deprive the lakes of fresh rain water, and reduce the availability of food and nesting spaces for birds.

Bird watcher groups from the city frequenting the twin lakes have altogether counted close to 300 avian species at different points of time. Of these, 256 species were spotted near Himayatsagar, while 285 were spotted at Osmansagar, which they claim, is the second highest number in Telangana after Manjeera Wildlife Sanctuary.

The birds include various kinds of water fowl, grouse, quail, flamingoes, grebes, pigeons and doves, sandgrouse, cuckoos, nightjars, swifts, shorebirds, rails, gallinules, gulls, terns and skimmers, storks, cormorants, and anhingas, pelicans, herons, ibis, vultures, hawks, owls, hoopoes, hornbills, kingfishers, bee eaters, rollers, barbets, toucans, woodpeckers, falcons, parrots, parakeets, old world pittas, old world orioles, warblers, babblers, swallows, magpies, crows, chickadees, larks, drongos, bulbuls, and several others.

Roughly about 70 to 80 bird species paying annual visits during winter are migratory. Majority of them arrive here from Central Asia, while sizeable numbers are from Europe, Africa, South-East Asia, and even northern parts of India.

“Some species such as Bar-headed goose arrive here from Central Asia, flying at a height of 20,000 to 30,000 feet, after crossing over the Himalayas. They spend their winters here for three to four months a year, before flying back. Peregrine Falcon, and the colourful Indian Pitta (Navrang bird) are two more notable migrant birds which have been recorded in the lake environs,” says Shiv Kumar Varma, core member of the Hyderabad Birding Pals, which conducts weekly bird walks.

Indiscriminate construction in catchment areas of the twin lakes will hit the food availability and nesting spaces for the birds, he says.

“There are water fowl and shore birds, which survive on the snails, carbs, and insects found in the lake bed when water recedes, and there are others which solely survive on the fish available in the lake. Some species of terns nest on the ground, far and wide around the lake,” he notes.

Compromising the catchment area is like removing lungs of the lakes, so that they suffocate to death taking down all the animal and avian biodiversity along with them, he adds.

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