Bengaluru: Wildlife photographers have come in for severe criticism from ornithologists for causing damage to fauna in Hesarghatta Grasslands. The bird photographers have been found driving recklessly on the grasslands, chasing the flocks of birds and sometimes even snakes.
The report, “Ruining the Ecology of Hesarghatta Lake – the role of photographers,” details the damage caused to the bird life and other living things in the grassland eco-system. According to the report, due to lack of rains, parts of the Hesarghatta lake, which is located in the middle of the grasslands, has become barren due to heavy vehicular movement on the lake bed. In this case, most of the damage is due to nature photographers chasing migratory birds using cars and SUVs. The report says, a rapid assessment of the impact caused by nature photographers driving on the dry Hesaraghatta lake bed reveals a wide and extensive network of vehicle tracks amounting to about 43 km.
“About 136 hectares of habitat was either lost or disturbed because of vehicular movement and on an average, 20 vehicles were found to be pursuing birds on weekends and holidays,” points out Sunil Kumar M, an ecologist, who was part of the study. The assessment was carried out in December 2012 by researchers and students from St Joseph’s College, using the plant line transect method, on-site measurements and imagery to assess the full-scale damage to the habitat.