NAVI MUMBAI: Environmentalists and bird lovers have reacted sharply to reports of flamingo poaching in Uran. "The state government has not done much to protect these winter migrants and their natural habitats along the coast," said D Stalin of NGO Vanashakti.
Stalin added that his NGO had recently appealed to the state government to declare the coastal areas along the Thane Creek and Uran as bird sanctuaries so as to avoid illegal activities like poaching.
"At present, anyone can reach the mudflats, disturb the various bird species or even can kill them. The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority is also not doing much in this regard," said Stalin. TOI on Thursday reported how forest officials in Uran had found three broken beaks, feathers and bones of flamingos, raising fears of poaching of the bird species.
"Some villagers also said that hunting does take place and bird meat is sold in the market or to individual buyers. Such violators of wildlife Act can be imprisoned up to seven years," said M Thali, a local animal rescuer at Uran. - Vijay Singh
Around three years ago, nature lovers had raised a big hue and cry when over 60 acres of wetlands were destroyed and reclaimed for the construction of Navi Mumbai Special Economic Zone (NMSEZ).
"Earlier, Uran used to be a birds' paradise because of abundant wetlands. However, as more and more wetlands turn to dustbowl, species like flamingos have to somehow survive in the remaining mudflats. The MCZMA and forest department must act fast to preserve our rich biodiversity in such places," said Stalin.