Freny Fernandes,TNN | Oct 15, 2015, 01.19 PM IST
THANE: The news of a rare sighting of the Oriental Darter bird at Bhandup pumping station on Wednesday morning has been received with great joy by environmental lists in and around the city.
The number of Oriental Darters or snake birds, a near-threatened species of migratory birds, has been declining over the years because of increasing pollution levels and this sighting comes as a ray of hope for the eco-system here, say green activists.
"The Oriental Darter birds are water birds distributed along the coastal wetlands. They thrive in clean and unpolluted water where there is plenty of fish as they are a majorly fish eating species," said Kishor Dudhe, a research analyst at the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).
"Over the years, the high level of pollution in water bodies has made the visibility under water low as well as affected the quantity of fish, thus affecting the birds that feed on them That is why the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has put the Oriental Darter species in the near-threatened category," he added.
This rare bird was spotted by Avinash Bhagat, a member of Thane-based Pary avaran Dakshata Manch who recently co-authored a book on the birds of Thane creek along with a group of 35 students of Thane's Lokpuram School during a nature trail at Bhandup pumping station on Wednesday morning.