Is Bangalore still a hub for urban wildlife?
Published: 19th January 2013 08:46 AM | Last Updated: 19th January 2013 08:46 AM | A+A A-
Spotting a wild boar in suburban areas of Bangalore city may seem unusual but as far as the trend goes, many wild animals have been colonising the urban environment for many years now adjusting to this habitat.
However, the urban wildlife in Bangalore is elusive and that is what makes it more exciting and adventurous for wildlife lovers.
There is a myth that wildlife per se is only found in those areas such as forests or environment of wilderness. But the fact is, they have now come to adjust to the urban landscape as well and build their habitat in the urban open woodlands, scrubs, urban wetlands, floral and agricultural areas.
Kishen, General Manager of People for Animals informs City Express, “We have rescued 165 different species of wildlife last month that includes reptiles, mammals and birds.
On an average, we rescue 150 wild animals per month. Black kites are over populated in the city and we get many calls. We have also rescued many rare species like the Hawk Owl in J P Nagar. Other reptiles include the Spectacled cobra, rat snake and Russell viper. They are flourishing in areas like Nagarbhavi and R R Nagar. They are found mostly in low bushy habitat.
Bangalore is blessed with urban wildlife. But having said that, species like slender loris and other mammals have gone down.”
However, noted environmentalist A N Yellappa Reddy says Bangalore has lost most of its wildlife over the years. He says, “The disappearance and pollution of the water bodies has completely affected the flocking of migratory birds to the city. This has also affected the aquatic animals and we have lost huge biodiversity.
Even reptiles have drastically reduced. We have lost the green cover and this has affected the nesting habitat of birds. It is not only the small animals, but Bangalore always had a rich heritage of big mammals as well.
Elephants from Tamil Nadu used to come till R V Engineering College in 90s.” He further adds, “Spotting vultures has become very rare now.
There was a time in 1960s when there was a huge open space in Koramangala area which houses the Forum mall today. Vultures used to throng that place circling the sky, as people used to keep the corpse of horses and other animals. Even sparrows used to nest in every second house but today they are not to be seen.”
Bangalore was visited by many carnivorous birds. They used to flock the open spaces. Besides, the green areas are also a habitat for a variety of insects that are ecologically more important in a builtup landscape.
According to Yellappa Reddy, the change in the urban structure has brought a radical change in the mosaic of the ecosystems. He says, “Mole and ants have the ability to survive in any kind of condition but even their population is affected because of the change in the climate of the city.”