Birdwatchers, wildlife and nature enthusiasts will be happy to know that the Ankasamudra tank in Hagari Bommanahalli taluk in the district is turning into a natural bird sanctuary. It has not only become a roosting place for rare birds, including the open billed storks, the painted storks, the egrets, the herons, but also as a breeding spot.
However, some senior wildlife enthusiasts and bird watchers express concern over the threats facing the soon-to-be sanctuary, and underline the need for authorities to initiate all necessary steps to protect the area.
Around two decades ago, the Ankasamudra lake was dry and it was being encroached upon. To prevent this, the Forest Department planted Acacia Nilotica ( Kari jail ).
Over the years, the place, with thorny trees, became a safe spot for rare and migratory birds to roost. A couple of years ago, the tank filled up owing to heavy rain and through a special scheme, it remained continuously filled. As a result, the tank and the thorny trees emerged as a nesting place.
“I have been watching and documenting the birds in the district for the past 15 years. Migratory birds, including the northern pintail, garganey, mallard, terns, storks, pelicans and innumerable waders, visit the dam in winter. And some birds breed in the open ground of the backwaters of the dam in the summer. I have also found many more rare birds in the Ankasamudra tank. The water and the thorny trees are the requisites for the nesting of birds,” Samad Kottur, a wildlife enthusiast and president of the North Karnataka Birders’ Network, told The Hindu .
Underlining the need for authorities to protect the area, Mr. Samad said, “There is no protection to the lake. Fishing activities and the movement of people will disturb the breeding birds. A watcher should be appointed immediately to prevent disturbances and the poaching of birds. If it is done, the Ankasamudra tank will emerge as a bird sanctuary like Mandagadde, Gudavi and Attiveri,” he said.
He also said he had written to the Deputy Conservator of Forests, Ballari, giving all details and requesting him to visit the place and take steps to protect the area. There is also a need to construct a watch tower at a suitable place to observe/photograph birds, among other things, he added.