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After aircraft, drones are now posing danger to Flamingos in Navi Mumbai

Green groups are environmentalists have complained about the drone menace to Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and the police.
Last Updated : 31 May 2024, 08:55 IST
Last Updated : 31 May 2024, 08:55 IST

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After aircraft and stone throwers, drones are posing a major threat to the safety of flamingos at Navi Mumbai wetlands.

Green groups are environmentalists have complained to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and police.

As many as 39 flamingos were killed ten days ago when they crashed into an Emirates flight while it was about to land at Mumbai airport.

NatConnect Foundation said in its complaint to the Chief Minister that bird enthusiasts visiting the wetlands to have a close look at the pink birds in the flamingo city, have been flying drones over the birds. At times, drones are flown just one or two feet above the birds.

The sharp, whirring propeller blades can badly hurt and may even kill the fragile birds which are covered under the Wildlife Protection Act- 1972, NatConnect director B N Kumar apprehended.

What is worse and even more dangerous for the birds is that the drones try to track them even during their flights, Kumar said and called for the official intervention to keep drones away from flamingo zones.

Kumar marked his mail to the State director general of police, Navi Mumbai police commissioner and the mangrove cell.

“Yes, I have come across the disturbing scenes at TS Chanakya flamingo zone,” said an alarmed Rekha Sankhala of Save Flamingos and Mangroves forum.

Flamingos feeding at wet lands near the suburbs of Navi Mumbai.

Flamingos feeding at wet lands near the suburbs of Navi Mumbai.

Credit: Special Arrangement

The young enthusiasts operating drones may not be aware that their drones endanger the birds that these people love, Sankhala said and called for educating them.

“There is a danger of the people revolting and turning violent if a commoner like me tries to stop them,” she said and suggested a policeman in uniform to impose the law for the protected species.

Drones disturb the birds’ which land at TS Chanakya, NRI and DPS flamingo zones when the tidal water level goes up at the Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary. The large Navi Mumbai water bodies are considered to be the TCFS’ satellite wetlands.

Birder Jyoti Nadkarni said the unsafe drone culture is spreading like virus is often seen at major flamingo zones and it must be checked right now.  

Often, some miscreants acting at the behest of vested interests throw stones at the birds apparently to chase them away, environmentalists said. Once the birds stop landing here the vested interests can claim that the water bodies are not flamingo abodes anymore and hence open these areas for development, an activist said.

Putting the entire wetland issue in a proper perspective, Kumar regretted that CIDCO treats the wetlands as developable land parcels, ignoring all environmental, and ecological balance issues.

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Published 31 May 2024, 08:55 IST

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