Kochi

Climate strike tomorrow to protect forest patch

300-acre HMT forest supporting large number of birds and animals is facing increased threats

A climate strike is being staged in Kochi to save a patch of urban forest.

Green Grace Trust, the Cochin Natural History Society, and Cochin Adventure Federation have come together to stage a climate strike at Kalamassery on March 6 at 6 p.m. to protect the HMT forest.

The biodiversity-rich forest, which is spread over 300 acres, supports a large number of birds and animals. The patch, which could be called a green lung, is facing increased threats. The programme is aimed at creating awareness among the masses and authorities about the need to protect the area, explained K. Vishnupriyan Kartha, secretary of the society.

Encroachments, dumping of waste, burning of plastic refuse and fire were posing challenges to the forest area. Steps for protecting the HMT forest, one of the favourite areas of birders where half the number of avian species of the district could be found, should be initiated, he said.

Earlier studies recorded the presence of 199 species of birds from here including the critically endangered species like Oriental Darter and Egyptian Vulture. Four species of woodpeckers and several species of bird of prey like Honey Buzzard, Crested Hawk eagle, Crested Serpent eagle, and Booted Eagle were found here. The wetland system of the area was found supporting 58 species of wetland-associated birds, he said.

The local bodies can declare such areas as biodiversity sites and protect them, Mr. Kartha said.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 8:39:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/climate-strike-tomorrow-to-protect-forest-patch/article30985350.ece

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