In November 2018, while walking across some fields in my village, Gundbala, in Uttara Kannada district, Karnataka, I was happy to see a lot of bird activity around my village. However, something caught my eye from afar, and when I ventured near I saw that there was a thin net spread across some shrubs/short trees along the dividing fence between adjoining paddy fields. It was thin and looked like a giant spider web, but really strong, with a female Plum-headed … Read More
“Dolphin!” the driver of the fishing boat said to me excitedly, as he shook me awake from my slumber in the cabin. It was pitch dark outside. I looked at the time – it was ten past one in the morning. We were far from shore, almost eighty kilometres off the middle of the Karnataka coast, and on the crystal clear, inky blue waters of the continental shelf, just over two-hundred feet deep at our location.
Out on these seemingly … Read More
Rajarhat wetlands (a neighbourhood of Kolkata, in North 24 Parganas district) have become a poachers paradise with numerous trap nets being placed in strategic locations across water bodies, marshes and paddy fields. These nets are quite big (about 10-15 feet in length and about 4-5 feet in width) and strung across bamboo poles. The nets are made of strings so thin that they are not clearly visible from a distance unless viewed carefully. Birds fly into the nets and get … Read More
Fishing is a big activity in the National Chambal Sanctuary (that extends over three Indian states — Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh). Reptiles (even mammals and birds) get entangled in the nets and drown while trying to catch a fish already entangled in the nets. Every year many Gharials and Marsh Crocodiles get entangled in the fishing nets and die. Several scientific studies have shown that a number of aquatic mammals, birds and reptiles, accorded with highly protected status … Read More
This was photographed on the Kabini Backwaters in the Nagarahole tiger reserve on 18th June, 2014. This chital was running desperately trying to get rid of a fishing net entangled in its antlers. I hope this image highlights the threat of carelessly discarded nets to wildlife.
Nets pose a significant threat to wildlife often leading to fatalities. See more images of this threat on Conservation India.
Is there any way the forest department can periodically clean such nets and plastic … Read More
Tamilnadu Forest Department in association with Kenneth Anderson Nature Society (KANS) had organised the ‘Melagiri Bird Survey’ – from 29th of January 2014 to 2nd of February 2014 – in the Hosur Division. I was lucky to have taken part in the survey and was assigned to Urigam Range. The anti-poaching camp (APC) I was assigned to is on the banks of the Cauvery river. Due to the location of the camp, our transit was along the banks.
We saw … Read More
We found this Indian Pond Heron or Paddybird (Ardeola grayii) fatally entangled in a plastic fishing net, at Hoskote kere (lake), rural Bangalore, on 28th December, 2013. I did not how to address the problem, and posted the picture on my Facebook page. Miraculously, someone on my timeline took up the issue with officials locally in Hoskote, and the farmers were told to remove the net. My friend went a few days later and confirmed that the net was indeed … Read More
I was on a planned trip to Chilika’s Teen Muhana (Three River Mouths) with friends from Odisha, to watch migratory waterfowl of the great wetland. We started early in the morning from Mangalajodi on a hired boat. It was a lovely winter morning and the sun had gently warmed up the lake, where we witnessed large congregations of waterfowl.
Our first stop was at a very small island no.7 for 10 minutes. As we proceeded again towards Teen Muhana, … Read More
We found a dead Little Cormorant (Microcarbo niger) caught in a fishing net in the backwaters of the Bhadra Dam. Cormorants are fish-eaters, feeding on small eels, fish, and even water snakes. They dive underwater and propel themselves with their feet. Cormorants can dive to depths of upto 45 metres.
Birds like cormorants, as well as other animals like crocodiles, can get entangled in these fishing nets that are cast in rivers and backwaters. The dangers caused by … Read More
A male ‘Marsh crocodile’, found dead in Cauvery River at Ranganathittu bird sanctuary near Srirangapatna in the Mandya district on Monday night, swallowed a piece of fishing net.
The crocodile was around 40-years old. The carcass of the crocodile was found floating near an islet at the sanctuary on Monday night. There was some panic that it died of disease as at least 35,000 birds have nested on the trees at the islets at Ranganathittu. The incident has raised a … Read More
My friends and I visited the Ranganthittu Sanctuary, near Mysore, Karnataka, on the afternoon on July 6th. We noticed this mugger, lying on a rock in the river when we were taken for a boat ride in the sanctuary. It had a nylon fishing net and twigs stuck into its mouth, and seemed to be feeling uncomfortable. It was struggling to get rid of the net and twigs. When we tried to approach it to have a closer look, the … Read More