Thursday, February 02, 2023
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Flamingos Are Coming Back To Their City

But the numbers are still small


NatConnect Foundation

BNHS deputy director Dr Rahul Khot said the pink birds tend to stay put in Gujarat area as long as water levels there suit them

NAVI MUMBAI: Environmentalists and bird lovers are happy that the pink migratory birds have started making their winter sojourn to the Flamingo City.

Flamingos have been noticed in the Ramsar site Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary and at TS Chanakya wetland at Nerul, said NatConnect director B N Kumar. But the numbers are small, he said.

BNHS deputy director Dr Rahul Khot said the pink birds tend to stay put in Gujarat area as long as water levels there suit them. “We expect the flamingos in larger numbers by March,” he said.

Meanwhile, four of the six flamingos which have been tagged GPS devices by BNHS researchers still appear to be in the Gujarat area.

Kumar said the migratory birds such as flamingos are brand ambassadors of the environment as they carry the message of good weather wherever they fly.

Navi Mumbai is the country's largest urban destination for  flamingos, said Sanjai Desai, city engineer of Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC). The civic body has given the tag of Flamingo City to the area following requests from environmentalists such as NatConnect.

Over 1.33 lakh flamingos have been noticed in the city during the winter of 2021-22.

The waves of pink birds in the air and on wetlands are a treat to the eyes of bird watchers who jostle the wetlands and enjoy the flamingo rides in the Thane creek.

“We are extremely upset that the wetlands of Uran, the traditional flamingo destinations, are being continuously sabotaged by vested interests,” said Nandakumar Pawar, head of Shri Ekvira Aai Pratishtan. The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has already asked the State Wetland Authority to look into the green groups' complaints and report. "We hope this will work and the buried wetlands of Belpada and Bhendkhal will come back alive," Pawar said.