Kulik entry ban flouted

Picnickers dance inside the bird sanctuary on Monday Picture by Kousik Sen

Raiganj: The ban imposed by the state forest department on picnics and use of loud speakers at the Kulik Bird Sanctuary near here has gone in vein as New Year revellers.

Since Sunday, foresters have been helplessly watching hundreds of people entering the sanctuary, enjoying a picnic and playing loud speakers throughout the day.

According to the foresters, over 200 groups have visited the sanctuary in the past two days for picnic.

"Such gatherings of people and playing of loud speakers leave the migratory birds disturbed. It is a common trend that once birds feel that their quiet habitat is being disturbed regularly, they do not turn up at the same place next year. Despite our announcement of the ban, the manner in which people are violating it and causing noise pollution, we are apprehensive that less number of birds will be here next year," said a forest officer.

Every year, from May onwards, birds like open-billed stork, night Heron and cormorant come to the sanctuary in large numbers from northeast Asia. They breed there and leave after the winters.

Six years back, the number of migratory birds had come down to 80,000, while the usual avian population remains around 1.50 lakhs. This made foresters consult with experts who had then pointed use of loudspeakers in and around the sanctuary and also increase food stock for the birds in the sanctuary area.


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