The City-based Animal Care Trust has rescued 26 young birds from trees that were cut for widening of NH-66 near Kundapura in Udupi district.
Its Trustee Suma R. Nayak told The Hindu that the most of the birds, rescued on September 10 were fledglings that were yet to learn flying. “Some of them are so young, they need to be fed by us,” she said. The trees were cut down without taking care of the nests on them. Sixteen of the birds are being provided care in its shelter here while the rest have flown away or released by Trust’s staff.
The fledglings rescued included 25 pond herons and one Indian Cormorant. Some of them had been rescued by the people residing in the vicinity. Eight pond herons were released while the Indian Cormorant flew away on its own after a couple of days of care, she said.
Suma R. Nayak alleged that unscientific felling of trees has led to the death of several birds whose nests were destroyed in the act. In a statement on Wednesday, she said local people had supported the trust and were against the unscientific cutting of the trees and “deliberate killing of birds.”
She said on Tuesday a team from the Trust had met Sriram Mishra, Project Director of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) here and top Forest officers in Mangalore and Kundapur. They all had assured the team that cutting of the trees has been stopped till September-end.
“We have also asked them to check every tree before it is cut for nests and fledglings. The nests with the fledglings must be relocated or rehabilitated. The contractors who have been given work orders for cutting of the trees must be educated about the legality of destroying nests with birds and also about being sensible, humane,” she said adding that the Trust had also written to District in-charge Minister Ramanath Rai, who holds portfolio of Environment and Forests and local MP Shobha Karandlaje.
She said the activists were hoping that the assurances would be kept NHAI and forest officials and prevent future “massacre of poor helpless birds.”