Plastic waste reducing depth of Uppalapadu lake in Andhra Pradesh, harming migratory birds, say experts

Plastic waste left behind by visitors is drastically reducing the depth of the Uppalapadu Bird Sanctuary in Guntur district and harming migratory birds, say experts from Acharya Nagarjuna University.

According to sources, water level in the lake has fallen considerably from what it was in 1996-97, the year it was taken over by the Andhra Pradesh Forest Department. Associate professor from Acharya Nagarjuna University’s department of environmental sciences P. Brahmaji Rao said that the water level rose only during the monsoon. During other seasons, plastic waste prevented the water from flowing, making it stagnate.

The waste also stopped aquatic birds from diving deeper into the water in search of prey. This, Mr. Rao said, was contributing to the dwindling number of migratory birds visiting the sanctuary. Faecal matter with high concentrations of phosphorus was also polluting the water, he added.

“When I first visited Uppalapadu lake with my team, we noticed that its depth had reduced to five feet from the earlier eight,” said Mr. Rao, who is also the department’s head. “Heaps of plastic waste left behind by visitors settle in the lakebed, causing the decline in depth,” he added.

Seconding Mr. Rao, his colleague and assistant professor A.V.V.S. Swamy said that birds would not return to the same site for breeding if they sensed danger. “Burning of plastic causes pollution near the protected wetland and hampers migratory birds’ ability to complete their three-stage cycle. Plastic settled in the lakebed deteriorates water quality and changes the birds’ habitation patterns,” he added.

When contacted, Divisional Forest Officer of Guntur K. Mehaboob Basha said that the forest department had launched a clean-up drive to remove plastic litter from the place and install garbage bins along the route. He added that work was also on to construct a 100-metre long, 1.5-foot wide pipeline to facilitate free flow of water.

Source link


Check Also

Tribals in Idukki’s Chinnakanal want Arikomban back, hold protests

Idukki: Tribals from five settlement colonies in Chinnakanal here held a sit-in protest along the …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *