Shrinking Spaces for Lesser Flamingos

On the occasion of World Migratory Bird Day celebrations, experts from Mumbai discussed the ways to protect lesser flamingos and wetland birds who are the migratory birds. They have reported that these birds are getting vulnerable as the spaces for them in India is shrinking.

What are the concerns?

  1. Habitat for flamingos and wetland birds has shrunk to 20% in area surrounding Mumbai.
  2. As per them, some 2,000 hectares of wetlands were lost for the construction of Navi Mumbai International Airport and JNPT expansion work.
  3. Flamingos have been confined within a tiny piece of land because of continuous destruction of wetlands and developmental activities. The number of breeding sites is also declining.

About Flamingo

The scientific name for the flamingo is Phoeniconaias minora. These are the species from sub-Saharan Africa and north-western India. Smallest piece of flamingo are called as the lesser flamingo. However, they are just named small. They are a tall and large bird by most of the standards. The lesser flamingo is the most numerous species that feeds on Spirulina algae. The migratory birds have been reported extensively in the wetlands around Mumbai.  The IUCN status for the bird is “Near Threatened”

How to protect them?

The issue of protecting the biodiversity needs to be taken to the forefront. Citizens needs to be aware and they should participate actively to protect the biodiversity and wetlands. The government should also plan development so that lesser damage occur to the environment.

Spirulina algae

They grow in alkaline lakes. They are blue-green in colour and they contain the photosynthetic pigments. This pigment provides the birds their pink colour.

World Migratory Bird Day

The day is celebrated twice a year. It is celebrated on second Saturdays of May and October. In 2020, the day fell on May 9 and October 10. Theme for both the day in 2020 is : Birds Connect Our World.