Karnataka

Mongolian geese find a new home in Davangere

Kondajji lake has replaced Kundavada lake as the new nesting place for their Indian sojourn

While the Kundavada lake on the outskirts of Davangere city, which was the winter abode for many bar-headed geese from Mongolia, has failed to attract these winged visitors this time, the Kondajji lake located nearby has emerged as their new home.

The bar-headed geese, known for their ability to fly in extreme altitude and weather conditions, used to arrive at Kundavada lake in the third week of November.

As the temperature declines in Mongolia in the last week of October, these birds migrate to comparatively warmer places in India.

They used to stay at Kundavada lake till the first week of March. The lake is spread over 260 acres and is also a source of drinking water for Davangere city.

The bird enthusiasts have recorded the presence of bar-headed geese in Kundavada lake from 2012.

Shishupala S., professor of microbiology at Davangere University and a bird photographer, told The Hindu that, he had photographed a bar-headed goose with a tag that read ‘X90’ in November, 2015.

Further enquiries revealed that the bird was tagged by an ornithologist in Mongolia, he said.

Large tracts of agricultural land in the vicinity of Kundavada have been converted into residential layouts in recent times. The Department of Horticulture has established a glasshouse on the bank of the lake on a three-acre area in 2018.

In November 2018, only 10 bar-headed geese came to Kundavada. Last November, not a single goose visited the lake.

The geese used to feed on the grass, corn, and the grain in the agricultural fields near Kundavada.

Mr. Shishupala said that the change in the land use in Kundavada has prevented these birds from coming here. The conversion of agricultural land into residential layouts has resulted in a shortage of food for them.

He said that an increase in human movement near Kundavada lake and unabated construction works here have annoyed these sensitive birds. The reflection of light from the glasshouse has also disturbed their flight and movements, he said.

Another reason suspected for geese abandoning Kundavada is the indiscriminate usage of chemical fertilizers and pesticides by the farmers in the vicinity. In wake of birds staying away from Kundavada lake, it is necessary to test the water samples here, he said.

Interestingly, following the loss of habitat in Kundavada, the bar-headed geese have made the Kondajji lake, located in a forest 14 kilometre from Davangere, their new abode. The geese were sighted in Kondajji for the first time in January, 2019, and in the second week of January this year,

As many as 430 geese have been counted here. The onus is on the Department of Forest and Wildlife now to ensure minimum human interference near Kondajji lake to ensure comfortable stay for the birds, Mr. Shishupala added.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 10:39:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/mongolian-geese-find-a-new-home-in-davangere/article30658651.ece

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