At Mollem fest, bird watcherschirp about three infra projects | Goa News

Mollem: Within the stillness of the woods of Mollem, a screeching name of a hen halts everyone on their tracks. “Isn’t that the Malabar Parakeet” asks Gauri, a postgraduate zoology pupil of Goa College. Without delay, Rohidas Dagale, an avid hen watcher, trains his telescope on the route of the sound and shortly the magnificent Malabar Parakeet is available in its cross hairs.
“This hen is endemic to the Western Ghats. It’s fairly weak to poaching,” explains Dagale to the staff of zoology college students and different members of the hen path, one of many occasions of the 4th hen competition organised by the state forest division.
However even earlier than poachers can prepare their sight on it, a number of birds like Malabar Parakeet could slowly turn out to be extinct as three proposed linear tasks—Railways double-tracking, four-laning of Belagavi-Panaji nationwide freeway, and 440KV energy transmission strains—could minimize throughout the biodiversity hotspot at Mollem.
Endemic species are liable to changing into endangered or extinct on account of their restricted habitat and vulnerability to anthropogenic actions. “It’s, due to this fact, vital that we safeguard habitats and preserve our endemic birds,” says Dagale.
The irony of the state of affairs, nonetheless, will not be misplaced on the birders.
A analysis paper, ‘On the inadequacy of surroundings impression assessments for tasks in Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Nationwide Park of Goa, India: A peer assessment’, printed in a scientific journal, says that “EIA (surroundings impression evaluation) and different evaluation experiences have typically been discovered poor in documenting biodiversity, assessing direct, oblique, and cumulative impacts, and proposing mitigation measures”.
The fears usually are not unfounded as surroundings minister Nilesh Cabral informed the Home throughout the recently-concluded meeting session that “there isn’t a provision to evaluate the cumulative impression” of the three Centre-funded infrastructure tasks reducing throughout the inexperienced coronary heart of Goa, “as they’re impartial in nature and proposed by totally different consumer businesses at totally different time intervals”.
Mentioning that the primary ornithological research was performed in Goa in 1976, the paper reveals that in their 16-day survey that included Mollem, the staff recorded a complete of 97 hen species. Presently, 286 species have been recorded from the protected areas.
Research have indicated that as birds are confirmed bio-indicators of environmental high quality, they’re ecologically important to current in addition to the longer term generations.
Delegates of the state hen competition informed TOI unequivocally that the authorities ought to be certain that the tasks don’t disturb the habitats of the endemic species.
If Sharad Agarwal from Bangalore steered enlargement of inexperienced zones, a number of instances, as a way to compensate for destruction of tree cowl, Meghsham Wagulde, a physics instructor from Mumbai’s Vaze School, burdened that Goa has no selection however to decide on conservation over growth if tourism must survive.
Consultants in wildlife conservation identified how hen conservation has umbilical relationship with tribal tradition, and the way “growth” tasks pose a menace to this relationship.
“Dialects of indigenous individuals include a number of phrases which counsel that nature conservation is inherent of their tradition. Sacred groves have been conserved for generations owing to such tribal practices. Numerous sacred groves are sacrificed within the title of growth, and with it the traditional conservation practices,” mentioned a retired wildlife officer, who’s now into organising nature trails.
Parag Rangnekar, a founder-member of the Goa Chicken Conservation Community (GBCN), which conducts hen trails on the competition, acknowledged that the tasks have solid a shadow on the hen conservation efforts within the state.
“We now have made recognized our fears proper from day one which not one of the three tasks are within the curiosity of wildlife. Organising hen festivals and all that’s high-quality, however whether or not it’ll accrue any profit to the birds—which ought to ideally be the target behind organising the hen competition—we aren’t positive. The competition could entice birders or could serve in selling hinterland tourism, and that’s high-quality, however we positively don’t know the way birds will profit from it, significantly in view of the three linear tasks,” he mentioned.
In the meantime, on the hen path, Gauri together with different younger birders, are listening to Dagale’s classes on hen conservation with rapt consideration.
“Many vegetation,” Dagale tells them, “produce fruits which might be eaten by birds, who digest the fruit flesh, however go away the seed’s skill to germinate untouched”. Dagale explains how the extinction of the Dodo prevented the Dodo tree from regenerating and the way it was doomed to go the identical manner.
“If a hen or animal is faraway from the ecosystem, the dispersal and germination of sure seeds will cease. This connection or invisible linkages must be appreciated and understood,” Dagale says, because the extended and unmistakable name of the Coppersmith Barbet is heard and Dagale trains his telescope as soon as once more to carry the hen into its cross hairs.

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