Uppalapadu bird sanctuary gets rid of water hyacinths

Move to ensure 30,000 migratory birds get required food & water
Workers removing water hyacinths at Uppalapadu bird sanctuary | Express
Workers removing water hyacinths at Uppalapadu bird sanctuary | Express

GUNTUR: In order to facilitate the migratory birds, which arrive from various countries at Uppalapadu bird sanctuary, the forest department officials have stepped up measures to weed out water hyacinths choking the pond.

Just 15 km away from the city, the Uppalapadu bird sanctuary, is a favourite tourist spot for people from all age groups. Apart from the scenic beauty, the magnificence of the migratory birds at the sanctuary is no less than a treat to the eyes.   

Nearly 30,000 migratory birds of 25 different species have been thronging the bird sanctuary every year. Spot-billed pelicans, openbill storks, white ibises, glossy ibises, coots, little cormorants, spot-billed ducks, bronze-winged jacana, little grebe, white-breasted water hen, purple swamp hen, intermediate egret, cattle egret, northern shoveler, gargany, comb duck, and others migrate from Australia, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Pakistan for breeding purposes every year.

Hyacinths choke pond
These birds arrive between September and March. However, the overgrown weeds become a major problem for the birds to get the required food and water. So, the forest department has taken up weed removal works in the pond. “As machines cannot be used and weed removal should be done manually in order not to disturb the birds, we took special measures,” Uppalapadu bird sanctuary development convenor Anil Kumar told TNIE.

“The works started in November and it took three months to remove water hyacinth, which is one of the most pernicious aquatic weeds. Now, the birds can utilise the water, move around freely, and fish without any difficulty and the pond water will become fresh during the process,” he added.

Nearly fourteen mounds extending over two acres in the water body harbour the birds. The vegetation on the mounds is Prosopis juliflora. As these trees are getting deteriorated due to increase in birds, the officials are planning to replant the trees to improve the green cover. They also installed 14 artificial perching stands for nesting.

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