Nethravathi island to become conservation reserve

Nethravathi island to become conservation reserve

The island in River Nethravathi at Jeppinamogaru near Mangaluru city.

A plan to declare the islands of Nethravathi in Jeppinamogaru, on the outskirts of Mangaluru, as Nethravathi Island Conservation Reserve is underway.

The issue is likely to be discussed by the State Board for Wildlife in Bengaluru on Thursday. The proposal was mooted by former member of the Board Surya Addoor a few years ago. The island is situated in Jeppinamogaru (Surveys number 94, 55 and 59) with a total area of 19.87 sq km.

DCF (Mangaluru) had reportedly told the Additional Chief Secretary and PCCF (Wildlife) that a draft notification was under preparation to declare Jeppinamogaru village as Nethravathi Island Conservation Reserve.

Speaking to DH, Addoor said, “It is an unique island and my intention is to conserve it. I have come across over 60 winter birds, migratory birds and resident birds. In addition, it is a breeding ground for river turtles. The island acts as a good habitat for birds and river turtles. It had good mangrove vegetation in the past, which was removed over a period of time by fishermen and others. However, there is Acrostichum vegetation, which grows in the mangroves on the island. It has fruit-bearing trees like mango, jackfruit and bamboo.”

Addoor added, “During my short study in the island, I have come across over 15 Brahminy kites and congregation of water birds. As the island has huge trees, it gives  room for birds to roost.”

DCF V Karikalan said a proposal had been submitted to the government. The island has old plantations taken over by the Forest department way back in the 1980s on a 10-hectare land. “It is in the custody of the Forest department. Our aim is only to conserve the island. As there is no habitation nearby, there is no need for calling for public objections for the draft notification,” he said.

On measures to improve the island once declared as Conservation Reserve, Karikalan said river erosion had affected the island partially. Hence, a proposal for stabilisation, to check erosion, has been prepared.

Further, there are plans to plant a few more ficus trees like banyan, which provide not only shelter, but also food for birds. There are plans to grow bamboo on the periphery of the island.

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