VISAKHAPATNAM: The Hudhud effect and the hot summer are proving deadly for the bird species in Visakhapatnam, forcing a majority of them to migrate to other areas. With no fodder, water and even shelter, the number of bird species found in the city has alarmingly fallen by 60 per cent, as per observations by the Zoology Department of Andhra University zoology department.
The first summer after Hudhud is becoming increasingly tough for birds in the city. While many birds have lost their homes in the devastation, the rest of the bird population seems to be either forced to migrate or suffer and die in the harsh weather. With temperatures hovering around 40 degrees Celsius and water levels in local water bodies decreasing, add to it lack of proper green cover, it has become a do-or-die situation for birds.
Recently, a hawk was found unconscious on the premises of an NGO in Maharanipeta. Volunteers fed the bird and later handed it over to the Animal Rescue Centre where it was found that the bird’s health condition was very poor owing to lack of food and changing climatic conditions.
DE Babu, head of Zoology Department of Andhra University, said, “Generally in Visakhapatnam, a large number of birds reside in the hilly areas like Kailsagiri, Madhavadhara, near Mudsurlova reservoir, Kambalakonda and in Andhra University. Hills are the natural abodes of the animals as well. Lack of proper green cover and unnatural fires are forcing the birds to migrate.” He also added that he witnessed some animal-bird conflicts in the city limits where stray dogs and cats attack birds and teal their food put out by bird-lovers, especially on AU campus.
“Rain will have to be timely and sufficient for the green cover to improve and help the poor birds,” he added.
Ken Foundation founder-member P Santosh said that till last year, around 60 to 100 birds used to flock whenever bird-lovers scattered or put up feed, but these days, there are hardly 20 birds. “The situation is such that we have to provide them with food and water to ensure their survival,” he added.
Indeed, most environmentalists feel that if there is no proper action at this point, there is a chance of bird numbers decreasing further. Responsible bird-lovers must initiate measures for the protection of the fragile creatures in their hour of need.
Green activist JV Ratnam said that people can offer food and water for birds at their homes, and stressed on the importance of water, especially when its hot.
“Generally in parks or even on the terraces, a small shade could also be constructed, where bowls with water for the birds can be placed,” he opined.
Common birds in Port City
Golden eagle, White-bellied eagle, Hawk, Brahminy kite, Spotted owl, Barn owl, Wood-pecker, Cuckoo, Common myna, Parrots, Common crow, Jungle crow, Centropus, Indica, Dicrurus, Pigeon and Bats
Parrot, Cuckoo, Myna, Dove, Crows, Pigeon