The drones in the skies of Mannar wetlands are a disturbance to the thousands of Flemingo’s who have come on their annual migration trip, says environmentalist Malaka Rodrigo.
The annual migration of a flock of thousands of greater flamingos to northern Sri Lanka’s Mannar wetland is a festival for photographers. However, the drones could drive them away from the wetlands of Mannar if the situation is not controlled, warns Malaka Rodrigo.
Environmentalists warn In the 1990s a similar situation occurred in the Bundala wetland in the South. The flamingos abandoned Bundala after freshwater was pumped in for irrigation purposes.
The freshwater killed the shrimp and Plankton. The Flamingos who missed their delicacy never came again to Bundala. Malaka Rodrigo describes what happened recently in mannar after a flock of about 5,000 Flamingos arrived in the Mannar wetland.
“There were those, a small but growing group, that brought drones. Flying them right above the flamingo flock in search of picturesque aerial shots.
“When these drones fly just a few meters above the flamingos with the whirring sound of rotors, the birds often treat the noise as an aerial predator and would take off in great anxiety,” said a researcher on migratory birds Sampath Seneviratne to Malaka Rodrigo.
If these disturbances continue, Sampath Senavirathna said, the birds may move to more remote areas of the wetland, or perhaps avoid the site entirely.
(Image courtesy of Athula Dissanayake, Dev Mukund.)