Flamingo City in Peril

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An edited form of this article appeared in the February 16, 2015 issue of the Outlook magazine.

The unique natural heritage of the Great Rann of Kutch that Amitabh Bachchan promotes in the slick Gujarat Tourism commercials, is imperiled, ironically by a proposed road said to promote tourism.

Among the 130-odd projects that the new National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) cleared in its controversial first meeting in August last year, is a road that cuts through the Kutch Wildlife Sanctuary … Read More

Greater Flamingo with sub-adult chick on its back, Dholpur

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This unusual image of a Greater Flamingo chick on the back of its mother (?) was taken by me on 22 January in Dholpur, Rajasthan, at the Hussain Sagar water body. The waterbody derives its name from Hussain Pur, a nearby village, and is fed by rain water. Even though there is anthropogenic disturbance at this site — buffaloes enter the water and people wash their clothes here everyday — a small group of Greater Flamingos have been at the … Read More

Flamingo City Campaign Update — NBWL Clears Road Project

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Campaign Update July 2013

The road proposal whose ecological damages CI highlighted in this campaign was unanimously and strongly rejected by all members of the MOEF constituted Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) on June 6th, 2013. The project was rejected on grounds that it was having a serious impact on the wildlife of the fragile Kutch region particularly the nesting site of flamingoes.

Flamingoes and Trucks – Birds at Lake Rajewadi, Satara District.

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I made this image at Rajewadi Lake, Satara, Maharashtra where even in summer, huge flocks of birds are seen. Even ‘Reversed Migrants’ like Flamingos (Greater and Lesser) and Black-tailed Godwits were seen apart from the resident Spoonbills, Painted Storks, Herons & Egrets, Small Pratincoles, Great Thick-knees, etc during this week in June. This tells us that the lake has a preferable habitat for such birds and already holds good populations. The water level seemed to be quite low because of … Read More

Thane Creek In Mumbai To Be Declared A Flamingo Sanctuary

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The Maharashtra state forest department has decided to declare Thane creek as a Flamingo sanctuary, to protect the flamingos and several other birds that are threatened by pollution and habitat destruction in the north-eastern Mumbai area. The notification is expected soon. Mumbai based NGO Vanashakti had approached the state forest department seeking its intervention to protect the birds and mudflats along the Thane creek. Kavita Mallya, project officer with Vanashakti said that the number of birds arriving has reduced drastically … Read More

400 Flamingos Electrocuted in Kutch, Gujarat in 10-days

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At least 400 Greater Flamingos have died due to electrocution by high tension cables near their breeding grounds in Gujarat. The flamingos breed in the warm marshes of the Khadir region in Kutch. The chief conservator of forests has admitted to atleast 130 deaths, but locals and ornithologists have recorded much higher number of deaths. Deaths are said to be taking place at nights, when the birds would fly into the near invisible wires after being disturbed by passing vehicles … Read More

Hundreds of Flamingos Electrocuted in Bhavnagar, Gujarat

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Hundreds of flamingos are dying of electrocution daily as they fly into high-voltage electricity cables on the outskirts of Bhavnagar city. The situation is made worse by stray dogs which attack these birds, causing the flock to take off in panic and hit the high-tension lines.

After Times of India reported the incident, officials visited the 300-hectare marsh on the outskirts of Bhavnagar on Sunday. Officials of Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation Limited (GETCO) claim that there could be reasons … Read More

Flamingo Festival at the Sewri-Mahul mudflats in Mumbai

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The Bombay Natural History Society organized Flamingo Festival attracted a lot of visitors including children. The annual festival, organized since 2007, highlights the thousands of Flamingos that visit the Sewri-Mahul mudflats. However, the mudflats are at risk as they are the proposed starting point for the Sewri-Nhava trans harbour link. BNHS director, Asad Rahmani, believes there is a way to develop the Sewri-Nhava trans harbour link can be developed around the mudflats thus also making the link a world class … Read More