Saturday, November 23, 2019

Blackbucks at airport site, greens call for protection

Greater Noida: Environmental activists have recorded fresh sightings of blackbucks at the land demarcated for Jewar airport and have demanded that a plan be chalked out urgently for the conservation of the animals.
A group of local residents who visited the area in the second week of November spotted two adult male and two female blackbucks in Rohi, one of the six villages from which land has been acquired for the airport.

“We saw blackbucks in the vacant land that has been acquired by the administration. We also saw a considerable number of birds in the area and there is no doubt that the area is rich in biodiversity. The airport project is important for the local economy. But the authorities should also survey the area intensively and identify the key species that need to be protected on a priority basis,” said Vikrant Tongad, an environmental activist.

According to the latest census conducted in May this year, 248 blackbucks have been spotted in the district.

Tongad added that it is important to speed up the conservation efforts, as coming up with a plan and protecting the species would take a long time and the plans have to be implemented before the construction work for the airport starts.

Birds like Asian openbill stork, Sarus crane, white-breasted waterhen, Purple heron, black-winged stilt, purple moorhen and red-wattled lapwing have been spotted recently.

Officials said that the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) is conducting a study on the locality to assess the likely impact of the proposed airport on birds and animals in the area and will submit an interim conservation report by the end of the month.
23/11/19 Times of India
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