Birds of different feathers flock to avian island at Neknampur Lake

Birds of different feathers flock to avian island at Neknampur Lake

Transforming bird conservation and lake health, the innovative 2,500 sq ft Floating Avian Island at Neknampur Lake is a sustainable haven, fostering biodiversity and protecting natural habitats effortlessly

Hyderabad: Due to the swift expansion of urbanisation in cities, the natural habitats of birds have been disrupted. Recognising the vulnerability of rivers and lakes as crucial habitats for diverse flora and fauna, a proactive measure has been taken to safeguard birds and ensure an ample and consistent water supply across the region. This initiative involves the establishment of a 2,500-square-foot Artificial Floating Avian (birds island) at Neknampur Lake.

Dhruvansh, a city-based NGO, established this island, which is one of a kind in the city. The islands are actually a Floating Treatment Wetland (FTW), and several plants on this FTW play an important role in cleaning the lakes by absorbing nutrients dissolved in the water, such as excess nitrates and oxygen, thereby reducing the content of these chemicals. It will also help to protect birds.

Madhulika Choudhary, an environmental activist and head of the NGO Dhruvansh, said, "In 2018, we established an artificial floating island in the 444-year-old Ibrahim Bagh Cheruvu, also known as Neknampur Lake. This historic lake, sprawling over 108 acres near Golconda Fort, boasts magnificent biodiversity. Since the installation of the floating island, the lake has transformed into a thriving habitat, now hosting more than 150 resident bird species. Additionally, the lake attracts numerous migratory birds regularly, further enriching its ecological diversity. Upon recognising the need for enhanced bird protection, we conducted an experimental initiative by placing nests within the plantation near the lake in the second week of February this year. However, the results were not as anticipated, with minimal bird activity observed. In response to this, we have devised a new plan to establish an artificial floating avian habitat in the middle of the lake.”

The 2,500 sq ft platform has been ingeniously crafted with a combination of materials such as styrofoam, bamboo, gunny bags, and coir. Serving as a sturdy foundation, this platform hosts approximately 1,000 nests suspended from it. Additionally, a small platform has been strategically set up to accommodate larger birds.

The thoughtful design extends to the incorporation of various flowering herbs, fruit-bearing plants, and insect-friendly vegetation on the platform.

The floating islands have proven to be highly beneficial, requiring no maintenance costs and minimal monitoring. Their impact has been remarkable, with a substantial 60 per cent reduction in nitrates and phosphates within the lake.

Additionally, the growth of aquatic weeds in the lake has been successfully halted. Notably, these islands have played a pivotal role in enhancing biodiversity in the area, she added.

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