Mumbai: BNHS stresses need for strict measures to protect wildlife habitat

Mumbai: With projects like airports and power plants disturbing the wildlife habitat, the impact assessment study conducted by Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) on a number of infrastructure projects has raised the need to follow several measures in order to protect the wildlife habitat.

The study has raised the need to install transmission wires underground and to conduct baseline monitoring of birds before and after construction of the project work.

The impact assessment study by BNHS was conducted between January and March 2015. The study was conducted on several projects including avifaunal study of Navi Mumbai International Airport, flora and fauna study for preparation of wildlife conservation and monitoring plan for the National Thermal Power Corporation’s (NTPC) power plant at Solapur.

The study has raised the concern to adopt installation of transmission wires underground so that bird habitat does not get affected. Sujit Narwade, Project Scientist at BNHS said, “An important strategy that also needs to be followed is to ensure that the project planners avoid the areas frequented by flying animals for species vulnerable to collision.”

The study also revealed the need to avoid the key areas of conservation which includes ranges of threatened bird species like Important Bird Area (IBA), Protected Areas (PA’s), world natural heritage Sites and eco sensitive zones before earmarking them for development.

The need for modification in the timing of the construction based on the migratory season of birds to the site was also mentioned in the mitigation measures. In order to understand the possible impact on the wildlife habitat, the need for baseline monitoring of the wildlife once in a year was also listed as a mitigation measure under the study.

“It is important to conduct baseline survey before and post construction to develop a complete picture of impacts on the habitat and thereby listing mitigation measures to protect the wildlife habitat. Also if there is a requirement, intensive research on affected threatened species must also be carried out,” added Narwade.

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