MYSORE: Nearly 1,000 saplings were planted in the area between Kukkarahalli Lake and Hunsur Road here on Monday. The saplings were planted in the area where authorities of the University of Mysore, the caretaker of the lake, had recently cut down several eucalyptus trees to make way for a research centre.
The University of Mysore, in partnership with the Mysore City Corporation and the Forest Department, planted the saplings. With the lake being home to many species of birds, efforts were made to plant bird-friendly saplings such as neem, jackfruit, gooseberry, “honge”, “sampige”, banyan, peepal and “hippu nerale”.
Deputy Conservator of Forests Shashwathi Mishra, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mysore V.G. Talawar, Registrar E.T. Puttaiah and others were present. Workers from the Forest Department planted the saplings under the directions of forest officers.
The Forest Department provided the saplings while the responsibility of nurturing the saplings has entrusted to the Horticulture Department of the University. The cost of the saplings was borne by the city corporation.
It may be noted here that the bird population is on the decline at the lake. The numbers of birds roosting on the lake premises has fallen in recent years.
The lake is spread over 58 hectares with a shoreline of roughly five km and once harboured over 200 species of birds. It was common to find 10,000 to 15,000 birds during winter as a large number of migratory birds used to roost on the lake. But now the number of birds visiting the lake has declined, according to bird-watchers.
The lake is also home to the marsh or mugger crocodile. This was evident when a 10-ft-long crocodile recently strayed on the lake bund to lay eggs.