Dholera ( Gujarat, India ) SIR ( Special Investment Region ): Campaign to save Bhal ( Bhavnagar, Gujarat, India ) ecology launched


Wildlife activities from Saurashtra opposing the proposed Dholera Special Investment Region ( DSIR ) project have undertaken a letter writing campaign, raising concerns about the threat propsed to the ecology and biodiversity of Bhal region.

Chill out for Bird Watchers

They are posting letters to top shots in Union environment ministry, Ahmedabad collector, officials of environment and forest department in Gujarat and prominent wildlife conservationists across Indian raising their concerns.

Last week, Gujarat Pollution Control Board ( GPCB ) and Ahmedabad district collectorate held a public hearing on environmental impact assessment on the proposed DSIR. The site for the proposed DSIR is a rural area of approximately 920 square kilometers, comprising 19 villages of Dhandhuka taluka and three villages of Barwala taluka in Ahmedabad District.

“the areas where DSIR is proposed is unique grassland having rich bio diversity. The proposed DSIR is just 600 meters away from the Blackbuck National Park, which is a habitat of endangered species like lesser floricans, harriers, wolves and hyenas among others. The highest density of wolves in the country is in Bhal area. Moreover, the Blackbuck National Park in Velavadar is world’s largest roosting site for harriers. Out of 16 harrier species in the worl, at least four species of Montagu, Pallid, Eurasian Marsk and Hen are found here. All these aspects need to be takes care of. Hence, we are writing to the concerned authorities,” president of Dharamkumarsinhji Nature Conservation society in Bhavnagar Dr IR Gadhvi said.

He added that Bhal is of the 17 important bird areas in the state indentified by Indian Bird Conservation Network besides being the largest breeding ground for lesser floricans.

Activists claim that the ecological zones of Blackbuck National Park and proposed DSIR over lap at places which is very worrying.

“All wildlife conservationists and environment activists from the state are concerned over the adverse impact the DSIR will have on Bhal region, which is the wheat bowl of Gujarat. We want that this project should not be cleared without addressing these concerns. We will also write to National Wildlife Board for its intervention,” a wildlife activist from Bhavnagar Shrenik Shah said.

Courtesy:- Times of India

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48 lesser floricans counted at Black Buck National Park


Velavadar Grassland is an Ideal Habitat for their Breeding

The forest department has counted 48 lesser floricans, the critically endangered smallest bustards od the world. In Velavadar Blackbuck National Park (BNP) in Bhavnagar district. The counting was done on Saturday and Sunday.

lesser_florican_display5722a

According to assistant conservator of forests, BNP, D.P. Baghela, of the 48, 44 were males and four were females. Forest officials said BNP is the only grassland in north western Indian that has observed a steady population of lesser florican. Last year, 54 were counted here.

“This year we first spotted lesser floricans in first week of July. This grassland provides an ideal habitat for lesser floricans for breeding during monsoon and started leaving before winter,” Vaghela added.

florican1

Lesser florican is endemic to the Indian subcontinent and list under Schedule 1 species under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
“Degradation of grasslands in Gondal, Rajkot and Jamnagar earlier attracted lesser floricans. But they are seldom seemed here. Velavadar National Park is the only grassland in north western Indian where floricans are reported in good number, largely due to better grassland management and protection,” he said.Forest officials said earlier, lesser floricans were found in many parts of the region, but now these birds are found at very few places in the state.

Two years ago, researcher G.S. Bharadwaj of Wildlife Institute of India (WII) carried out a study on lesser floricans from across the country. They study observed that most of the potential florican habitat in the state were converted into cotton fields where large quantities of pesticides are being used, the greatest threat to floricans here.

“Lesser florican is best known for the leaping breeding displays by males during the monsoon,” an official said.

Courtesy:- Times Of India. 

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