With tales about chook flu doing the rounds, personnel on the Neendakara Coastal police station had been a little bit alarmed once they noticed a number of blue herons mendacity on the bottom. They immediately alerted the Animal Husbandry Division and the post-mortem held at District Veterinary Centre revealed the reason for loss of life as hunger.
Because the harbours of Sakthikulangara and Neendakara are among the many few avian-rich websites within the State, they’re residence to lots of of fish-eating species, together with storks, egrets, cormorants, and herons.
However the current fishing restrictions, together with the ban on auctions at harbours, had minimize their essential meals supply.
When the Coastal police discovered the birds famished and half-dead, they determined to step in. “You can not feed them foodgrains as they eat solely fish. So we started to purchase fish from nation crafts which return at four a.m. On the primary day we purchased fish for ₹1,000. We hold some fish on a wood stand on our station premises and unfold the remaining in areas the place the birds flock. We’ve been arranging meals for stray canines coordinating with voluntary organisations, however arranging fish throughout lockdown was a bit troublesome,” says sub-inspector M.D. Prashanthan.
In accordance with the Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) 2019, the harbour space has a really excessive depend of little egrets. Whereas some birds go looking for meals to different locations, some species comparable to blue herons can hardly survive exterior the coastal ecosystem. “They reside on the seashore consuming the discards from boats, which will probably be greater than sufficient on regular days. However with trawlers mendacity idle and solely a handful of conventional fishers venturing into the ocean they had been struggling. They had been collapsing for lack of meals and the stray canines had been preying on them,” he provides.
Solely small varieties
Even earlier than the lockdown, the police personnel used to maintain water for the birds. “It was actually heartbreaking for us to see the birds, particularly infants, dropping down. Since they don’t like chunks of massive fish, we feed them small varieties like ‘nandal.’ Initially the birds had been very fearful of human presence and used to fly away on the minutest sound. However today they’ve change into extra pleasant,” says ASI D. Sreekumar.