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Uttarayan – Save the birds campaign – THE DEADLY STRING

THE DEADLY STRING – Save the birds campaign Uttarayan

Over 2,000 birds are injured & around 500 succumb to manja injuries during Uttarayan every year in the city

Ahmedabad serves as the home for a wide range of exotic and rare species of birds – from flamingos to bustards and spoonbills to falcons. On an average, over 2,000 birds — including pigeons, kites and vultures — are injured during Uttarayan every year and around 500 succumb to kite string injuries. Many of the injured birds face a slow and painful death, made worse by the severe injuries on their wings which render them unfit to fly.

Conservator of Forests Jagdish Prasad said, “The Van Chetna Kendra in Ahmedabad will act as a co-ordination centre to handle the logistics and management of the rescue operation. The centre will get operational from January 10. An intensive campaign through different mediums will also be launched to save injured birds.” Ahmedabad: The skies are turning gory. With less than a fortnight to go for Uttarayan festival, hundreds of birds in the city, some of them migratory and endangered like vultures, are falling prey to deadly glass powder-coated kite strings or ‘manja’.

The forest department, for the first time, has organised a meeting of non-government organisations (NGOs) and volunteers for rescue of injured birds for the coming kite festival.

Decentralisation of medical services provided to injured birds is the buzzword this year. Deputy Conservator of Forest Ramana Murthy said, “We have identified 10 NGOs and some other committed volunteers for rescuing birds and to provide them timely medical help. We identified six dedicated NGOs with proper rescue centres that will be attending to injured birds.”

Bird helpline launched: The state forests and environment department has issued a notification asking people not to fly kites between 6 am and 8 am and 5 pm and 7 pm, when avian activity is maximum. It has also launched a helpline to report injured birds. It has also requested the public not to use threads made of plastic or any other synthetic or toxic material like iron dust and glass dust as it can cause fatal injury to both birds and people. Those who find an injured bird can call up at the following numbers: 800 000 1600, 800 000 2345, 800 000 1500, 9924 1122 001, 9624123124.

Vultures, eagles are worst hit
The worst hit in the kite war during Uttarayan are vultures, eagles, owls and hawks. Of these, the whiterumped vultures figure high on the conservation list as they are on the verge of extinction. Apart from vultures, migratory birds like flamingos, cranes, storks and pelicans also fall prey to sharp kite strings. On Thursday alone, three vultures lost their lives to the deadly ‘manjas’. Harmesh Bhatt of Asha foundation said, “The deadly manjas inflict grievous injuries on beaks, legs and wings of the birds. Many die before they are provided medical attention. Till date we have treated 74 injured birds, including pigeons, black and red ibis, vultures and some other migratory birds.” Areas such as Amraiwadi, Shahpur, Kalupur and Bapunagar have proved more dangerous for birds during Uttarayan. These areas have high density of bird population. A special team of doctors from Anand Veterinary College will also camp in the city for treating the injured birds.

Source: Times of India, 4th Jan, 2010

NGOs together launch Save the birds campaign

SURAT: For the first time, non-government organisations (NGOs) working for the welfare of birds and animal in the city have come on single
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platform to launch Save the birds’ campaign to rescue birds getting injured during the Utttarayan festival.

About 100 volunteers, mainly youngsters, attended the two days bird-rescue training camp organised, which concluded on Sunday. The volunteers were given training to provide effective first aid treatment by the expert veterinary doctors in the city.

Volunteers affiliated with the animal and bird welfare organisations said the main aim behind launching the campaign is to bring the welfare activities of different NGOs under one banner. The focus is to train the youngsters for the bird rescue activities and to spread awareness regarding the ills of using razor-sharp manja.

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