October 20, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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Flamingos flock to locked Mumbai

Flamingos flock to locked Mumbai
(CNN) – Humans might exist in lockdown in India, but tens of thousands of flamingos make the most of peace and calm.
A large number of birds have gathered Mumbai, the capital of the state of Maharashtra in western India, with flamingo photographs becoming a hit with bird watchers on social media.

Flamingo comes to Mumbai for a few months per year but there are more than usual.

Indranil Mukherjee / AFP / Getty Images

Birds traditionally migrate to the area to feed and breed from September to the end of May, according to Rahul Khot, assistant director at the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), which monitors flamingos.

Last year a record of 134,000 flamingos were set in the area, but Khot believes a new record will be set this year.

BNHS had counted 125,000 flamingos before work was interrupted by steps to lock the Indian corona virus, which was introduced on March 25, said Khot, who expects the population to surpass its previous record at the end of May.

Birds benefit from a lack of human activity due to the coronavirus locking action.

Birds benefit from a lack of human activity due to the coronavirus locking action.

Hemanshi Kamani / Reuters

It’s not just the large number of birds that attract attention – they also spread to wetlands where they were previously rare, added Khot.

“They were reported from places where they were previously reported to be less numerous because there is no human activity there now,” he said.

Removing human pressure on the environment allows us to appreciate the importance of wetlands in Mumbai, he added.

Stories of curious animals exploring cities and cities that are empty of humans have appeared all over the world, but this phenomenon is especially noticeable in India because of the normally crowded urban areas in the country and high levels of pollution.

India has been locked in to prevent the spread of coronavirus for more than a month. Trains, flights and buses do not operate and only important services are operational.

In March, Mumbai experienced its best air quality on record, according to a recent analysis by IQAir – a global air quality information and technology company.

Other animals that benefit from human absence include monkeys, which have descended to Delhi in large numbers, and dolphins, which have been seen in the Ganges river for the first time in years.

The lockout will end on April 14, but will then be extended until May 3. Since April 22, several states with fewer cases have experienced relaxation but transportation has remained suspended.