Around ten species of migratory water birds that make the Uran wetlands their home between October and February have not been sighted for about two years, according to the preliminary findings of the ‘Avifaunal study of Navi Mumbai International Airport’ by the Bombay Natural History Society’s (BNHS). Migratory bird species such as greater flamingos, pied avocet, painted storks, glossy ibis, spoonbill, godwits, sandpipers and others were either not sighted or their flocks reduced to below 10 birds. The migratory birds usually travel to Uran from Central Asia and Eurasia.
The study's first quarterly report will be submitted to the state government next month.
Experts at BNHS said the large scale landfilling of wetlands near the Uran creek and the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) have impacted the eco-system and habitat of the migratory birds adversely.
“The area in front of Nhava Sheva police station that was formerly a wetland, has been filled up completely. This has impacted bird diversity since their source of food has been wiped out,” said Sujit Narwade, project scientist, Navi Mumbai International Airport Bird Survey, BNHS.
Started in November last year, the study has used data on migratory bird sightings for years 2005-2006 and 2008-2009 as a benchmark to arrive at the present finding.
“Special zones should be created for migratory birds to avoid bird hits along with protecting them,” said Narwade.