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Maharashtra, Gujarat team to conduct flamingo study

Published : Dec 3, 2016, 6:13 am IST
Updated : Dec 3, 2016, 6:39 am IST

Mangrove cell and researchers from Gujarat to work together.

Flamingos at Sewri mudflats on Thursday.
 Flamingos at Sewri mudflats on Thursday.

Mumbai: Why do flamingos fly to Mumabi from Kutch every winter? Why do they go back at the onset of monsoon? Is Mumbai’s polluted water impacting them? These are few of the questions that a research team from Gujarat hopes to answer.

Maharashtra’s mangrove cell department will assist researchers from the Gujarat Institute of Desert Ecology (Guide) to undertake a comprehensive study of the migratory flamingo birds that arrive in the city every winter from Kutch.  

The survey, which will commence by the December-end, will seek to study hypothetical beliefs related to the behavioural pattern of flamingos and the impact of toxic substances in Mumbai’s polluted water on them.

These migratory birds that fly from the northern hemisphere to Gujarat’s coastal areas in Kutch and then to Mumbai, are also being studied over their mobility pattern during the onset of monsoon when they return from Mumbai. It is believed they go back to Kutch when monsoon hits Mumbai in early June. They begin arriving in Mumbai from early October and are usually found at the Sewri mudflats and the Thane creek’s northern parts.     

M. Vasudevan, chief conservator of forest of the state mangrove cell department, confirmed the development. “The study will be conducted in this season itself and will aim to prove two hypothesis related to the behavioural aspect of flamingos.”

Flamingos that fly to India from the northern hemisphere to Kutch in Gujarat and come to Mumbai will be studied be visiting different locations in Mumbai. “This study aims to understand if the polluted water of Mumbai, adversely affects the flamingos and their migratory patterns,” added Mr Vasudevan.

Dr B. Anjan Kumar Prusty, senior ccientist, environmental impact assessment, Guide, said, “We are yet to finalise the places we will be working on in Mumbai and are happy that the Maharashtra mangrove cell has shown interest in this research.  Flamingos are believed to fly to Mumbai in search of food after they lay eggs in their nest in Kutch and then they go back to Kutch. After few months following the birth of the baby flamingo, they fly back to the northern hemisphere.”

Tags: flamingos birds, mangrove cell, institute of desert ecology
Location: India, Maharashtra, Mumbai (Bombay)