Soaring mercury, unusual rain displace birds, animals

Soaring mercury, unusual rain displace birds, animals

A warbler tries to drink from a pipe as temperatures soar and there are not many water sources available. DH Photo/Prashanth H G

Soaring temperatures, unseasonal rainfall and man-animal conflict have led to a sharp rise in bird and animal injuries this year, according to an NGO. 

The People for Animals (PFA) has rescued 549 injured birds and animals over the past four months. 

Rescue numbers go up in the January-June period as it is that time of the year when most animals and birds breed and reproduce, said Dr Navas Shariff, general manager and senior veterinarian, PFA. "Owing to the summer heat and unusual rainfall this year, our rescue numbers have hit 549 since January this year." 

The PFA has rescued Bengaluru's not-so-common wild animals like the Jerdon's Leafbird, slender loris, painted stork, Asian palm civet, spotted deer, plum-headed parakeet, Indian eagle owl, rhesus macaque, Indian roller (the state bird of Karnataka), coppersmith barbet and Alexandrine parakeet. It also received 235 black kites, 72 three-striped farm squirrels and 62 spectacled cobras.

Soaring temperatures are causing starvation and dehydration in animals and birds, while the offspring get displaced as they are just learning to fly. The location of the nests of birds like kites, owls and squirrels close to human habitats leads to man-animal conflict. Lastly, unusual rain has destroyed the nests. 

Samhita K of the PFA said that from January to March, birds are rife with nestlings and fledglings that have fallen out of the nest. Unable to return, or occasionally suffering an injury from the fall, they are found by compassionate passersby, who often call the PFA's helpline for assistance.

"We can save these birds and animals by not rescuing them and by having a better understanding. If you see an injured or abandoned animal, please do not feed them and do not raise them at home as it would stress the animal. Just call the rehabilitation centre. If young ones have fallen off their nests, do not pick them. Wait until the parents return," she said. 

The NGO's helplines are 9900025370, 9980339880, 080-28611986 or 28612767.

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