Cell towers harm migratory birds' sense of direction | india | Hindustan Times
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Cell towers harm migratory birds' sense of direction

india Updated: May 14, 2013 16:24 IST
Gaurav Saigal

The radiation from mobile communication towers has severely affected the arrival of migratory birds, say experts, pointing to the drop in their numbers over the years.

The radiation from cell phone towers impairs their natural sense of direction.

"The brain cells in the migratory birds help them track the route between North and South Pole. Therefore during odd seasons they migrate to India and go back when environment in their native place turns pleasant," said Ram Lakhan Singh, former principal chief conservator of forest and now steering committee member of the Planning Commission's five year plan (2012-17).

He said according to the Bird Convention, to which India is a partner signatory, the 160 species of migratory birds cannot be hunted down, but the growing number of mobile towers is affecting their numbers both in urban and rural areas.

Out of the total 8000 species of birds in the world, 1295 of them arrive in India during Deepawali and return during Holi season.

The declining trend in migratory birds can be checked with the help of right measures. "Right kind of protection to the sites of migratory water birds, as well as preventive and timely management of their protected habitat might do wonders," said Neeraj Srivastav, a government official and a wildlife enthusiast.

He said two things need to be kept in mind in this regard -- one is diversity and the other density.

"Even though the number of migratory birds has not increased, we have greater diversity now due to exploration of new areas. Birds like Black Stork, Greater Flamingo, Common Merganser, Spot-billed Pelican, Bar-headed Goose, Lesser Adjutant, Black necked Stork, Sarus Crane and other threatened wetland species can be found here," said Srivastav.

Typical characteristics
While returning to their native place, the pregnant birds lead the flock and while migrating to India, the newborns lead the way
Brain of migratory birds are synchronized to catch waves from north and south poles, which helps them travel long distances
Majority of migratory birds are veggie
Migratory birds will not lay eggs if they are captured and not allowed to return to their native place.