Need to install surveillance cameras, deploy anti-poaching watchers stressed

Hundreds of painted storks (mycteria leucocephala) and spot billed pelicans (pelecanus philippensis) thronged the Ukkadam tank on Friday providing a feast to the eyes of the passers-by in terms of the formation of the bird groups and their movement in flocks.

But the sight of these winged visitors i.e., local migratory birds that normally happens between September and January first week is an indication of the attraction that the wetlands of Coimbatore hold for these winged visitors, says P. Pramod, Nature Education Officer of Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and History.

N.I. Jalaludeen of Nature Conservation Society, recalling the incidents of local people poaching these birds in the past, urged the District Forest Officer to initiate measures to bring in mechanisms to maintain vigil around the tanks and surveillance to prevent incidents of poaching. Similar measures are required at Periyakulam, Valankulam, Kurichi Kulam, Vellalore Kulam, Narasampathy, Kolarampathy Kulam, Sundakamuthur Senkulam and a number of other tanks in and around Coimbatore city as part of the Noyyal system.

“Failure to protect the wetlands from the hands of poachers will result in the winged visitors becoming history and forcing us to show these birds only in photographs to the generations of the future. Poaching and resultant decline in the number of visitors will only spell disaster to the ecological balance of the city and its peripheral areas,” Mr. Jalaludeen said.

The menace of poaching could be controlled by having surveillance cameras and deployment of anti-poaching watchers to do patrolling in the area.

Through such protection measures, these wetlands could be turned into sanctuaries for birds, he added.

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