Greens stop loss of rare bird’s habitat in Hampi

Greens stop loss of rare bird’s habitat in Hampi

Yellow-throated bulbul

Timely intervention by environmentalists and nature photographers helped in preventing complete destruction of the one last safe haven of the Yellow-throated Bulbul (YTB), a highly vulnerable bird species at Mathanga Hills near Hampi on Saturday.

The contractor for installing lights to illuminate the boulders for the ensuing Hampi Utsav had cleared trees and bushes from a hillock so that the illuminated boulders are properly visible during the Utsav.

The boulders and shrubs are the habitat for these birds, which completed their breeding season (June to August) recently and are seen feeding their hatchlings. The birds are endemic to South India and researchers, scientists and photographers from across the world visit these hills as they have higher chances of sighting the rare bird.

“There is confusion among officials as to who authorised the contractor to cut bushes and trees on the hills,” said nature photographer Pampayya Malemath, who noticed the destruction on Saturday and alerted the forest officials.

A letter by naturalist Santosh Martin to the Hampi Heritage Area Management Authority, Deputy Director of Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage and Deputy Conservator of Forests, Ballari made sure that the work was stopped.

Speaking to DH, Ballari deputy conservator of forests P Ramesh Kumar said, now, there is no threat to the habitat of the birds.

“We have warned the contractor that forest offence cases will be filed against him if he violates the orders,” Kumar said.