Gurgaon: Fish cultivation in Basai wetland threat to migratory birds
Every year, the 900-acre wetland receives more than 25,000 migratory birds from Russia, the UK and the Middle East during the winter.gurgaon Updated: Aug 18, 2017 20:50 IST
Bird watchers fear that the large scale fish cultivation in the Basai wetland might force the winter migratory birds to give the wetland a miss as they stand the chance of being injured because of the nylon strings used for fish breeding.
The wetland is located about 13km from Gurgaon, near the Dwarka Expressway.
Every year, the 900-acre wetland receives more than 25,000 migratory birds from Russia, the UK and the Middle East during the winter.
Birds such as yellow bittern, black bittern, painted snipe, water cock and jacana have been spotted in the area.
As the area is not a notified wetland and is owned collectively by the panchayat, the birders alleged that the fish cultivation is a major threat to the birds.
“The birds might get trapped in the nylon strings used to cover the small area of the water body where fish breeding is being carried out. This year, around 100 acres of the water body is being covered with a net. The wetland should get protected status,” said Pankaj Gupta, a bird watcher.
The birds usually feed on fish and water insects. The nylon strings are transparent and the birds might not spot them in their attempt to catch fish. The birds are likely to get trapped or injured in the process of mouthing the fish.
Even as the birders are trying to save the wetland from the upcoming construction and demolition plant in the area and the case is in National Green Tribunal, they are now worried about the fish breeding in Basai. The locals began fish breeding after the area got fresh water from the rains.
“The area needs protection. Fish cultivation is not allowed near a wetland as it has an adverse impact on the water body and migratory birds. We will file complain if any untoward incident occurs at the site,” said Abhishek Gulshan, a member of Delhi Bird Society.
Birder Soma Ateesh said, “The migratory birds have started coming in and, soon, the area will witness a huge number of birds. Any alteration might create a disturbance.”
Meanwhile, the forest department officials said the area is not notified and does not come under forest land.
“The Basai wetland is not identified as a protected forest or a notified wetland. It is collective panchyat land. We cannot take any action in that area,” said Shyam Sunder Kaushik, divisional forest officer (wildlife), Gurgaon.
First Published: Aug 18, 2017 20:50 IST