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Sea eagles find nesting places in mobile, power towers in Ganjam

A pair of white-bellied sea eagles in their nest on a mobile tower in Ganjam, Odisha.- Photo: Lingaraj Panda

A pair of white-bellied sea eagles in their nest on a mobile tower in Ganjam, Odisha.- Photo: Lingaraj Panda  

Due to lack of proper habitat, endangered white-bellied sea eagles build their nests on high-rise mobile towers and power transmission towers on the coastline of Ganjam district of Odisha.

Wildlife activists are now demanding that mobile companies let these eagles build nests on these towers as the number tall trees has gone down. It appears that the white-bellied sea eagles are considering these towers to be safe places. The number of tall trees has decreased manifolds in this region because of repeated cyclonic storms. These eagles are returning to build their nests on these towers despite the fact that during the maintenance these nests are usually thrown away by the humans.

According to wildlife activist Rabinndranath Sahu, last year these birds could not nest on these towers as they were destroyed during annual maintenance of mobile towers.

White-bellied sea eagles are also known as white-breasted sea eagles. According to ornithologist P. Balkrishnan of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), at present these birds are nesting in coastal regions of Odisha and Konkan although their number has gone down drastically. Earlier on the Odisha coastline, these eagles were building their nests on tall trees. Super cyclone of 1999, Phailin of 2013 and Hudhud of 2014 have reduced number of tall trees on Ganjam district coast.

This year too, the eagles have built nests on mobile towers on Ganjam district coast at Bhejiput of Khallikote block, Agasti Nuagaon and Badaputi of Chatrapur block, Kantiagada of Ganjam block, Gopalpur beach resort as well as Golabandha near Gopalpur. They have also built their nests on 132KV power transmission tower near the railway station at Ganjam town. These birds build nest at a spot and every year they increase its size. “Their nests which were destroyed last year had become quite big. Because of it they could not nest last year. It is heartening to know that these eagles are again building their nests on same mobile towers,” said Mr Sahu.

Mr Balkrishnan said the nests do not damage the towers in any way and they also do not hamper the mobile communication process. “So the mobile companies can let these birds be,” he added.

Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Berhampur, Ashis Behera said he would contact mobile companies and request them to show some compassion towards the birds.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 2:21:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/Sea-eagles-find-nesting-places-in-mobile-power-towers-in-Ganjam/article16075317.ece

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