Bharathinagar: The death of over 23 Spot-billed Pelicans at Kokkare Bellur, on the banks of Shimsha, near Maddur has triggered panic among environmentalists and the samples of the carcasses have been sent for tests.
Over 23 birds have died since January this year. While 20 birds have died at Kokkare Bellur, 3 Pelicans have died in Soolekere near Madarahalli.
Villagers said the Pelicans were fainting from exhaustion or were perched idly on tree branches. The birds were not feeding as usual either, they said. “We are noticing that the Pelicans are not as active as they used to be,” said villagers.
Reports from the Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary, Biologicals, Bengaluru, have attributed the cause of death of Spot-billed Pelicans to verminous petechial haemorrhage. Verminous petechial haemorrhage is a condition where birds die from bleeding owing to the overload of worms in their stomach. The tests also ruled out avian influenza.
Following the death of Pelicans, Dr. Amit Dubey, Associate Director, World Wildlife Fund for Nature, New Delhi visited Kokkare Bellur and held discussions with V. Yedukondalu, Deputy Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), Mysuru Division.
Villagers attribute the death of Pelicans due to the harmful rays emitted from several mobile towers in and around Kokkare Bellur village. They also say that indiscriminate cutting of trees have resulted in disproportionate number of trees when compared to the birds that roost on them.