1 Tahrcountry Musings: SOS Blog Post from Uthaman - Help protect this tree to conserve most endangered bird of prey

Thursday, April 01, 2010

SOS Blog Post from Uthaman - Help protect this tree to conserve most endangered bird of prey

K.V Uthaman has sent a guest blog post requesting your help in protecting a tree that is used every year by a pair of endangered WHITE BELLIED SEA EAGLE to build nest and lay eggs. Unfortunately this tree stands on private property and the owner wants to sell off his land after hacking the tree. Read on what Uthaman has to say and chip in with your help. Uthman can be contacted at   kvuthaman@gmail.com

Protect this tree to conserve most endangered bird of prey
White bellied sea eagle is an endangered bird of prey and its distribution in southern India is very sparse. The southernmost population is known up to Mahe.
                                           White bellied sea eagle at Mahe

Near Mahe, there is a place called Puthalam. There is a huge mango tree near Puthalam Temple, which is about 35- 40 meters in height. Every year one pair of white bellied sea eagle comes here, build nest and lay eggs on this tree. One or two chicks are reared and they fly off when the young ones are mature enough to fly. The local people have never disturbed the bird all these years. On the contrary they watch the avian guests with fascination. It could very well be the same pair of birds that are coming here for the last many years.      
                                          White Bellied Sea Eagle guarding nest                                                                                                   In previous years, when there is more than one chick, one of them used to fall down from the nest. The fallen chick was carefully reared by one Mr. Venu, who is a tailor by profession and fond of birds. It becomes his head ache to protect the bird and feed them fish even to the tune of Rs. 150/- per day. When the chicks are grown up and ready to fly, Venu allows them to fly off. This year also one chick fell down and it was cared for and reared by Venu      
A White Bellied Sea Eagle Chic that has fallen from the nest at Puthalath and reared by Mr. Venu 
The land in which the tree stands is under private ownership and now the owner wants to sell the land after cutting the tree. The agitated local people approached the owner and requested him not to fell the tree. He agreed not to fell the tree till the chicks are grown up and fly off. Now the birds have flown off after breeding. This tree may be cut any time now. The poor white bellied sea eagle will come here next year also looking for the tree for nesting. The local people vouch that the birds have been coming here, at least for the last 10 to 15 years. 
It is hypothetical but by virtue of their using the tree for the past many years the birds have become more or less the owners of the tree. The question is whether anybody has got the right to cut the tree and destroy the maternal home of this endangered bird. But sadly it is going to happen. It is a big question how to protect this tree and the species which is using the tree during their breeding season. If such trees are felled you could very well imagine the plight of the species. The tree is presently under the threat of axe. It may not be possible to protect the tree with the local initiatives alone. Mahe being part of Pondicherry State, pressure has to be exerted on Government of Pondicherry to protect the tree. We may even have to think of paying compensation to the landowner and acquire the land to protect the tree. 
We seek your help in protecting this tree.
White bellied sea eagle with pearl spot brought to feed its young       
     A White Bellied Sea Eagle Chic that has fallen from the nest    

1 comment:

Ranit Rajan said...

Dear Mr Uthman,
I think you should Start a mail campaign to persuade Pondy Government. Thanks Mr Mohan for including a really nice guest blog post in your blog