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Drought hits winged visitors
The incidence of winged visitors to various places such as Manjeera catchment area this year has dwindled with most lakes drying up on account of drought conditions in the state.
Hyderabad/Medak: The incidence of winged visitors to various places such as Manjeera catchment area this year has dwindled with most lakes drying up on account of drought conditions in the state.
The migratory birds have headed for alternate lakes and number has come down against the normal 10,000 visitors on an average this year. Birders too confirm that the avian population flocking to the lakes in the state has definitely come down.
"While the impact is based on observations, we can say that the drought is having an impact on migratory birds," said R Deepak, field research cum education officer at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) at Hyderabad.
He pointed out that even the duration of the stay of the birds had come down. Four reservoirs catering to drinking water requirements of Hyderabad have dried up. They include Osmansagar, which used to attract a good number of Pelicans and other migratory birds every year.
Gandipet, as Osmansagar is popularly known, and Shameerpet lake were among the stopover points in Hyderabad for migratory birds on their way from Ladakh to Sri Lanka. According to Deepak, there has been fluctuation in the number of migratory birds in recent years due to recurring drought and disturbances caused at Shameerpet lake on account of construction activity.
Interestingly, Hussainsagar, the lake located in the heart of Hyderabad, was once a stopover point for the winged visitors including Flamingos, but it is now a dead lake. Bird watchers say the migratory birds, while choosing the lakes for their stay, look at availability of food, safety and quality of water.
"The migration happens for food. When they stop at the lakes en route, they see if water is available. They have to fly a lot and food is their propeller," he said, referring to the outcome of a study which revealed that the birds weigh more during migration than other seasons.
While most lakes have dried up, the Ameenpur lake in Medak district near Hyderabad is attracting migratory birds. Bird watchers say flamingos, pelicans, painted storks, gray herons and other birds which used to stop at Osmansagar and other lakes have moved to Ameenpur, which is also rich in flora and fauna.