Thursday, October 06, 2005

Indian Express : Pelicans in Lalbagh

The Pelican Pride is back in Lal Bagh
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: It’s a rare sight and a feast for the eyes. In the pristine surroundings of the Lalbagh lake, an endangered species of White Pelicans can be seen swimming in the vast expanse of water.Watch a while and you will see these huge Pelicans diving to catch fish, perching on the trees, spreading out their wings and soaring high into the sky. They scoop up fish with their huge beaks, used as a basket.

This has brought cheer to bird watchers and the officials as well since these species of Pelicans are found only in peninsular India.

A fervent bird watcher and frequent visitor M B Krishna says the birds are fish eaters that swim in open waters. They have been given endangered species status under the Wildlife Protection Act.

Lalbagh is witnessing these winged visitors after the lake was dredged so that the vegetation decreased. There has also been a change in the shoreline.

This year, Lalbagh officials have counted 15 Pelicans at the lake. The birds choose this area because of the lake, which supplies them with food in abundance. Madiwala and Yellamallappachetty are the areas where the birds can be found in large numbers. Their breeding area is Kokrebellur near Mathur.

Krishna says there has been a decline in the number of birds in Lalbagh for the last three decades as the public and the government have been misusing the gardens.

“These birds need privacy and must not be disturbed. In the ‘80s, a thousand migratory birds used to visit the area regularly. But now they are not seen,” he added.

According to him, there should be a national monitoring framework for natural resources.,

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