Saturday, July 10, 2010

Cuckoo signals warmer Manipur

Environment experts see signs of climate change in bird sighting

 A cuckoo: Rare sighting 

The vagrant cuckoo that carefully chooses its temporary resting grounds depending on climate and food has been sighted in Manipur after several decades — a sure sign of the state’s warmer weather. “It was recently reported that cuckoos (locally known as kokil) were sighted by villagers in the hills. Though people said there were cuckoos in Manipur, they were not sighted in the past several years in the state,” environmentalist and ornithologist Rajkumar Ranjan Singh said. 

Experts said cuckoos are found in other parts of India, which are normally warmer. They can also be spotted in the Corbett National Park, Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, Pench National Park and Barwala Bird Sanctuary.

“Drifting species like cuckoo is normally found in warmer places. Their arrival in Manipur simply says that the state’s climactic condition has undergone a sea change and the temperature is becoming similar to hotter cities like Calcutta,” Ranjan Singh said.
The state, which normally received heavy rainfall, has been suffering from rain deficit for the past 30 years, according to experts. It even experienced a draught last year.
As a fallout, the temperature shot up. 

About two decades ago, the maximum temperature hovered around 28 to 30 degrees Celsius. Last year, the maximum temperature rose to 36 degrees Celsius.

In the early 20th century, Manipur had about 500 wetlands. Today, the few remaining ones — 19 according to a recent survey — are on the verge of drying up because of the climate change.
The change is also affecting fish, with a number of local species, nganap, ngamu, ngaton and khabak now on the verge of extinction. Widespread deforestation could also be one of the reasons for the gradual rise in temperature, experts said.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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