TWENTY-SEVEN LESSER flamingos were electrocuted, allegedly after hitting a high-tension power transmission line, in Kumbharwada area near Nari crossroads on the outskirts of Bhavnagar city in two separate incidents on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Forest officers said the two incidents took place at the same place soon after dusk, twenty-four hours apart. “The first incident was reported late on Tuesday evening in which 20 lesser flamingos were electrocuted after hitting a high-tension power transmission line. Twenty-four hours later, seven more flamingos were killed in the same area in a similar incident after sunset on Wednesday,” an officer of Bhavanagar forest department said on Wednesday.
Deputy conservator of forests of Bhavnagar, Mohan Ram refused to comment on the issue or share detail of the incident. However, sources said that the transmission line connects a captive power plant of Nirma in the area to the grid.
The Kumbharwada and adjoining area sees regular roosting of lesser flamingos and other wetland birds. Salts pans of Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI) and pools of sewage water of Bhavnagar city make the area a wetland where presence of lesser flamingos is recorded regularly.
This is third consecutive year when lesser flamingos have been killed in the same area, allegedly after hitting the power line. “We had written to Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation in 2016 and 2017 after birds hit the transmission line and were electrocuted. However, we were told that the power line was out of use. But now, similar incident has been reported for third year in a row. We shall again write to concerned authorities asking them to fix reflectors on the power transmission line,” the forest officer further said.
Lesser flamingo species has been categorised as nearly threatened by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The avian species also enjoys legal protection under Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.