In just over a two hours, amid rains and without any special equipments, large numbers of birds were spotted within a two-km radius.
Mumbai: Wildlife activists have urged the state government to reconsider its decision to construct the metro car shed at Aarey Milk Colony after nearly143 birds of 21 species were spotted within two-kilometre radius of the proposed car shed site within 2 hours.
Wildlife activist and the founder of NGO ‘RAWW’ (Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare), Pawan Sharma stressed on the need to initiate a detailed environmental impact assessment report (EIA) of the site.
“In just over a two hours, amid rains and without any special equipments, large numbers of birds were spotted within a two-km radius. It shows there is a widespread movement of birds here. It is not just about several trees, but the entire ecosystem involving reptiles, spiders, leopards, and insects that visit and inhabit Aarey,” said Mr Sharma.
Bird watcher Jayraj Nayak, a member of the NGO ‘RAWW’ who visited Aarey for bird watching on Sunday morning, argued that the forests needed to be saved to prevent the destruction of habitat and roosting sites of several birds.
“Just like how house sparrows’ population has decreased in Mumbai due to their habitat’s destruction, several birds in Aarey could meet the same fate. Just one kilometre away from the car shed, there are vast paddy fields, which serve as roosting and nesting sites for these birds,” said Mr Nayak.
Some of the birds spotted at the site were Lesser Whistling Duck (3), Indian Pond-Heron (6), Ashy Prinia (9), Red-vented Bulbul (4), Asian Pied Starling or Pied Myna (23), Oriental Magpie-Robin, Purple-rumped Sunbird and Loten’s Sunbird among others.
“Birds like Baya weavers — tiny sparrow like birds — were also spotted at the site which are hardly seen in urbanised areas. Similarly, you won’t find Scaly-breasted Munia, commonly known as Spotted Munia, in Mumbai,” Mr Nayak added.