MU initiates increase in forest cover to help birds’ habitation1 min read
Manipal: Manipal University (MU) has decided to convert around 50 acres of land on the campus at End Point, Manipal into forested area by planting about 10,000 saplings. One of the main reasons cited is for the benefit of the fading bird population.
Mechanical diggers are being used to make pits of which around 1,500 have already been dug up. The saplings to be planted would be found only in the Western Ghats including Kakke (cassia fistula), Shivani (gnelina arobora) and Kanaka Champa (pperostermun acerifolium), among others.
“Forest cover is depleting fast due to urbanisation, as a result of which the habitat of birds have been affected badly,” said Col. Badri Narayanan, Director of Purchase and General Services of MU to the Times of India (TOI). He added that this initiative would help reconstruct the birds’ habitat, thereby increasing their fast diminishing population.
Disagreeing with the initiative was Ramit Singal, a student of Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) and an avid birdwatcher. Believing that the project is likely to do more harm than good in the long run, he said, “The forest that is planned involves growing trees on 50 acres of naturally growing grassland and scrub, which itself is a very important habitat for several species. The digging up of their habitat has already reduced numbers in plenty! The plantation drive has usurped nesting areas of birds – which should be breeding about now and their numbers are thus bound to reduce.”
“At least 20 species are already feeling the effects of the initiative taken by the officials at End Point,” he added.
Manipal University is ranked number two overall among Indian Universities in the Universitas Indonesia’s (UI) Green Metric Ranking for World Universities 2012 based on Green Statistics, Energy and Climate Change, Waste Management and other criteria.
Sub-edited by Nishara K. P.