Pune : deccan express – Pune News | Three city-based students have studied the biodiversity at Mahatma Tekdi in Kothrud, where 129 bird species have been spotted in the past seven years. The students have prepared a thesis on the topic. This will help in preserving the biodiversity at the hill. (Pune News)
Arnav Gandhe, who is doing MSc (Biodiversity), Adwait Dindore, who is a photography student at MIT, and Atharva Bapat, who is pursuing MSc (Biotechnology) from MIT, have conducted this research between 2014 and 2021. Their thesis has been published in the journal, ‘Newsletter for Bird Watchers’.
The study was carried out in various stages. Observations were registered between 6 am and 10 am for two hours. They noted bird habitats, their habits, etc. Observations were made in the afternoon and the evening. They trailed birds during night too. Mahatma Tekdi is also known as Kothrud Tekdi. Though the hill is important, it is not popular among citizens. However, its biodiversity is vital for environment conservation. Many bird species can be spotted on other hills in the city. They need to be protected, said the students.
Rare birds sighted
Red-Necked Falcon, Amur Falcon, Booted Eagle, Short-Toed Snake Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle, Black-Headed Cuckooshrike, Verditer Flycatcher and Blue Rock Thrush, which are rare bird species, have been spotted on Mahatma Hill.
Steppe Eagle, Black-Headed Bunting, Chestnut-Bellied Sandgrouse, Short-Eared Owl, Booted Eagle and Yellow-Crowned Woodpecker, which used to be sighted earlier, have now disappeared from the hill.
Mahatma Tekdi is not joined to any other hill nearby. It is independent. It is a small area and has a different eco system. It should get a status of ‘Urban Forest’. Efforts should be made to preserve habitats of wild animals and birds on the hill. Construction should not be allowed there. Unfortunately, garbage and construction debris are dumped here too. Citizens should be made aware about the biodiversity on the hill. Only then can we protect the environment here, said Arnav Gandhe.
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