Bengaluru: Drones pose threat to winged visitors, raptors

The flying of these remote-controlled aircraft has been causing bird deaths in the pristine grassland of late.

Published: 14th January 2018 12:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th January 2018 09:55 AM   |  A+A-

Enthusiasts flying remote controlled aircraft at Hessarghatta

BENGALURU: With many groups of drone fliers in Bengaluru, Karnataka, migrating from Hoskote to Hessarghatta, the flying of these remote controlled (RC) aircraft has been causing bird deaths in the pristine grassland of late. One can see many groups of drone enthusiasts indulging in this activity without realising the impact on the biodiversity of this unique habitat.

Forest officials say action will be taken against people who have been causing injuries or death to birds or animals in the area.

Spread across a 300-acre area of Hessarghatta, this land is said to be the last remaining grassland in and around Bengaluru. Further, this area is a site for several wintering migratory birds from Europe and Central Asia as also several species of raptors.

“Despite several warnings, the activity has been going on for the last 7-9 months. It has caused the deaths of pariah kites and a few other bird species and also resulted in injuries to grazing cows and wild dogs. According to local residents, fliers arrive in the morning hours in groups of 6-7 every weekend,” said Bengaluru (Rural) honorary Wildlife Warden A Prasanna Kumar.

“Villagers have reported the deaths of a few birds due to the activity. They have also reported a few people using their remote-controlled aircraft to chase raptor birds, which are attracted by the colourful flying objects at low heights,” he added.

Illegal entry
Hessarghatta lake bed area is closed for all recreational activities. The gate is locked and a caution notice and ‘no entry’ sign board have been put up outside. But drone hobbyists still throng this area

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