Thursday, December 1, 2011

Insulate killer cables or bury them, orders govt , to save migratory Greater Flamingos

Ahmedabad:Insulate high tension cables or put them underground when they run close to the breeding grounds of the migratory Greater Flamingos in the Khadir region of Kutch. The state forest and environment department issued this order to the Gujarat Energy Transmission Company (Getco) on Thursday, after 400 flamingos had been killed here in the past 10 days because they came in contact with the cables.
Principal secretary for forests and environment SK Nanda told TOI, “Getco will have to complete the work by September next year, before a new batch of flamingos arrives.” He has also asked senior forest officers to identify other such sites in the state where the birds may be in danger. “We will ensure the cables are laid underground at all sites used by the flamingos.” The officials have already identified an eight km stretch in Khadir where the maximum birds have been killed.
TOI had reported on Thursday that the maximum number of birds may have been killed at night. They may have been startled by a passing vehicle or by the attack of a predatory bird and, in panic, flown straight into the high tension cables which may be difficult to see in the dark.
On Thursday, Gujarat principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) S K Goyal held a series of meetings with Getco officials to find ways to immediately reduce the ‘bird-hits’. Surinder Kumar Negi, Getco’s managing director, said, “We are sending a team of experts to the area to find a solution.” Till the cables are put underground, Getco will cover them with reflector tape which will shine at night and hopefully keep the birds at bay. In June this year, a large number of flamingos were killed in similar fashion in Bhavnagar and had become easy fodder for stray dogs.

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