Mysore, May 24 (RK&SH)- Mysore City Corporation, State Forest Department (Mysore Division) and the Mysore University jointly launched the Greening of Mysore project in the surroundings of Kukkarahalli Lake here this morning by planting around 1,000 saplings of 'bird-friendly' trees.

The saplings were planted in the now flattened area between the Lake and the Hunsur Road where about 900 eucalyptus trees had been uprooted recently.

For the past couple of weeks, the areas abutting the Lake was being denuded of trees and the place being cleared and flattened using heavy earth-moving equipment.

The Lake and its environs are home to more than 200 species of birds like herons, ibises, cormorants, darters, harriers, owls, greebes, egrets etc. The Lake is also home to several crocodiles and water snakes. The fish diversity of the Lake is not known.

Earlier, 60 Forest Department staff began planting saplings guided by Deputy Conservator of Forests Sashwati Mishra. Prof. V.G. Talwar, Vice-Chancellor, Mysore University, Prof. E.T. Puttaiah, Registrar, Ramesh, Range Forest Officer, Kempankegowda, Assistant Director, Mysore University Horticulture Department, Prof. K.M. Jayaramaiah, Convenor, Kukkarahalli Lake Protection Committee, S.K. Mujawar, Asst. Horticulture Officer of the University and others took part. Saplings of Atti, Hippe Nerale, Naatimaavu, Tabubia, Honge, Neem, Halasu, Gooseberry, Sampige, Banyan, Peepul, etc., were planted.

The cost of the project has been met by MCC. Forest Department has provided saplings while the responsibility of nurturing the saplings lies with the University’s Horticulture Dept.

When Star of Mysore spoke to the members of the Bird-Watchers Club of Bangalore that does the annual RAMSAR water fowl census and maintains a checklist of birds in the various lakes and wooded areas of Karnataka, they said that it was wrong to say that all birds nest in the trees.

The water fowl species like grebes, moorhens nest among the bulrushes at the edges of a water body while egrets and other species nest among tall trees with sparse tops and yet others like the common kingfisher, parakeets, mynahs and spotted owlets prefer holes in the boles of trees or sand banks.

They also said that any attempt to lure birds to the trees once they are grown, depends on regulating walkers and others who frequent the lake; regulating the boating hours and the area used by the boats.

They also suggested that the Mysore University should start making a checklist of the birds of Kukkarahalli which should be updated every six months to find out whether the greening of the Kukkarahalli Lake has proved to be a success.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore