Bellanvila Bird Sanctuary no more a paradise of birds

Published : 11:19 am  February 2, 2017 | No comments so far |  | 


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By H.M. Dharamapala and Kusal Chamath   
Environmentalists and bird lovers expressed concern about the sad state of the Bellanvila protected environmental zone and the bird sanctuary that has turned into a dumping ground, sans any birds. They said tens of thousands of migratory birds flocked to the bird sanctuary from December to April when it was winter in many countries, but this year the sanctuary was deserted by birds due to the human activities that caused extensive environmental damage to the bird sanctuary.  

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Residents of the area pointed out that the protected environmental zone was now the safe haven of gangs engaging in nefarious activities including drug addicts, twilight women and robbers, much to the anxiety of the public. They accused the relevant authorities of neglecting the environmental zone and the bird sanctuary which had been a tourist attraction in the past, bringing a vast income to residents of the area.  

 A school teacher of the area Sirisena Vithana (35) said many children used to visit the bird sanctuary and the environmental zone for educational purposes and even schools organised visits.   

“However the environmental zone that has turned into a garbage dumping ground would not serve any gainful purpose. The environmental zone was a pleasure grove of the children in the past, but it is now the abode of gangs engaging in nefarious gangs. Huge collections of garbage have been dumped in the protected environmental zone without least concern about its environmental damage. Hundreds of unathoriesed structures had been erected in the protected environmental zone and the bird sanctuary by clearing the jungle which had been the abode of exotic and endemic bird species,” he said.   

Residents of the area requested the Wildlife Conservation Department, and the local authority to provide adequate protection to the environmental zone and save the bird sanctuary from its present predicament.