Does no one care for an internationally important bird area?
OBS is internationally recognised as an important bird area and is a unique habitat providing fauna conservation opportunities to a metropolis like Delhi
t i s a paradise f or our winged friends – the only zone after Nairobi in Kenya, Africa, to attract over 400 species all year round and over 1 lakh migratory birds from all over the world in winter. The Okhla Bird Sanctuary (OBS), 3.5 sq km of which is in Gautam Budh Nagar, Uttar Pradesh, is an area of international importance as it hosts 30% of the 1200 to 1300 species recorded in the Indian sub-continent!
Now, human beings are all set to put their needs over that of the fragile ecosystem. Environmentalists dismiss as “eyewash” the UP government’s recommendation to the Ministry of Environment and Forests ( MoEF) to change to 100 metres the eco- sensitive zone limit between OBS and
The October, 2013, National Green Tribunal ( NGT) order mentioned t he plea of Amit Kumar, a Noidabased environmentalist who filed a petition saying that the development around the Okhla Bird Sanctuary (OBS) had affected many critically endangered species, two of them being very vulnerable. building projects in the area from the previous proposal of 1km. The intent seems to be to protect builders and not the sanctuary. “Had there been projects at a distance of 50 metres, the state government would probably have set that as the limit – to properly protect a sanctuary, the limit should at least be 500 metres,” they say, adding that a smaller buffer “By virtue of the construction activities which are made in the surrounding areas of the sanctuary, the movement of birds is affected, which results in environmental imbalance,” the applicant had said.
The OBS is located close to urban settlements and is a unique habitat providing flora and fauna conservation opportunities in a metropolis like Delhi. It’s a stopover for migratory water birds and home to several other fauna and flora, including 400 species of birds. This location is of global importance being only the second zone in the world to attract over 400 species of birds after Nairobi, which attracts over 800 species.
OBS is internationally recognised as an important bird area ( IBA). It is l ocated at the point where the Yamuna river enters the state of Uttar Pradesh. The area is small but it does have varying habitats - water bodies, marshlands, grasslands and a large number and variety of trees which attract birds throughout the year. The concentration of birds — more than 30% of the 1200-1300 species recorded in the Indian sub-continent – in one small area makes the OBS even more important. At the peak time of winter migration, the number of birds could well be one lakh.
The concentration of birds — more than 30% of the 1200 to 1300 species recorded in the Indian sub-continent — in one small area makes the OBS even more important