WWF chips in to preserve Kokkarebellur community reserve

WWF chips in to preserve Kokkarebellur community reserve
Kokkarebellur, the only community reserve in Karnataka which is home to spot-billed pelican and painted stork has been handed over to World Wide Fund (WWF), India for its preservation.

Kokkarebellur village in Maddur taluk of Mandya district has been drawing migratory birds such as spot-billed pelican and painted stork due to its wetlands, which is a source of water to the birds. The village is known for its close bonding with the community that has been trying to preserve the wetlands.

The community reserve was re-opened on Friday as an interpretation centre to build awareness on conservation. The biodiversity now has its history and time-line written at various spots within the community reserve to help tourists understand more about it.

After inaugurating the interpretation centre, Mandya Deputy Commissioner Ziyaullah said, “I am happy to see the relationship between the birds and the villagers here. Without them, the birds would not have come here.”

The biodiversity is revamped by WWF and HSBC by providing information to the tourists in various ways such as wall paintings, life size models of birds in the area among others.

It will be maintained by Hejjare Balaga (the village association that takes care of the birds), village panchayat, department of tourism, forest department and WWF India.
The president of Hejjare Balaga, Linge Gowda, who has allotted a piece of his land to take care of injured birds, said, “The birds are like our daughters married off. They come during October and November and leave by March or July after breeding. The preservation of the reserve is our collective responsibility,” he said.

Ravi Singh, Secretary General and CEO of WWF said that they will improve the community reserve by training the villagers for the preservation of wetlands, installing solar lights and assisting the community among others.

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