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A view of the wetland at Vakalapudi near Kakinada

Threat to bird habitat

The number of migratory birds coming to Vakalapudi on the outskirts of Kakinada is reducing year after year as the wetland is not only turning dry but also being encroached by some companies. The wetland which is having `Typha Reed bed’ and aquatic vegetation attracts 40 species of birds from North Asia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

The birds such as Painted storks, Asian open bill stork, White ibis, Lesser whistling teal, Spot-billed duck, Grey heron, Purple heron, Large egret, Median egret, Indian greed reed, Marsh harrier and Common sandpiper visit the wetland.

The wetland earlier spread in a vast area has shrunk to 72.14 acres posing a threat to the migratory birds. Several industries have come up in and around the wetland spoiling its ecological balance.

Most of the body has water even in summer season attracting birds during summer season. As Vakalapudi is located in the migratory route, birds visit the wetland and spend some days here.

The water reed beds in the wetlands help the survival of the birds. The disappearance of the wetland was resulting in loss of foraging grounds and breeding places of the wetland birds.

The wetland which is under the control of APIIC should be handed over to the Forest Department.

Speaking to TNIE, bird watcher K Uma Maheswara Rao said it was the duty of the Government to conserve the wetland which is becoming a abode for migratory birds.

Wild Andhra Pradesh president Mrutyunjaya Rao said the Government should not only prevent encroachment of the wetland but also handover the same to the Forest department to conserve it. The wetland is also a centre for environment education to the students, he added.

(From expressbuzz.com, Kakinada, India, by Andhra Pradesh)

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