Friday, July 16, 2010

A heronry faces twin threats

KALPETTA: Large-scale destruction of bamboo groves and unbridled sand-mining pose a threat to a heronry on the Kabani river at Panamaram, the largest breeding ground of different species of herons in the Malabar region.

Bamboo groves on the banks of rivulets, big and small, in the region have been a haven for different species of birds.

The heronry, on a small islet on the Kabani, is an elevated sand bank covered with vegetation, predominantly bamboo groves.

However, the gregarious blooming of bamboo on the islet this year and illegal sand-mining will destroy the heronry, ornithologists say. Competition for breeding sites will be tough next season and the birds will have to find other sites owing to the destruction of the bamboo groves.

Many heronries in the district face a similar fate owing to the massive destruction of bamboo groves since the blooming began in 2006, C.K. Vishnudas, an ornithologist, says.

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