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Experts for saving birds, fishes, insects from extinction

RANGPUR, July 17, 2017 (BSS) - Saving of many indigenous species of birds, fishes, beneficial insects and animals from extinction have become imperative to maintain ecological balance amid adverse impacts of climate change.

"Many species of indigenous birds, sweet water fishes, animals and useful insects are not being seen now following their extinction over the previous decades," said Deputy Director of the Department of Environment Akhteruzzaman Tuku.

Besides, some other indigenous species of birds, fishes, beneficial insects and animals are facing potential threat and their reproduction being hampered due to negative impacts of the climate change, he said.

Agriculture and Environment Coordinator of RDRS Bangladesh Mamunur Rashid said the process still continues due to reduction of forest areas, drying up of water bodies, indiscriminate use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides, change in soil properties and other reasons.

"As a result of adverse impacts of climate change, many indigenous species of birds are not being noticed and fishes not found in rural areas already creating some imbalance in nature," he said.

Environmentalist and former knowledge management and communication specialist of the climate resilient agriculture and food security project of World Bank Dr MG Neogi expressed concern over the deteriorating situation being caused by climate change.

He said many species of migratory birds had to visit the country every year during winter since ancient times when adequate number of water bodies, marshy lands, ponds, canals, forests and hilly sanctuaries remained undisturbed.

"We observed fewer numbers of migratory birds for a shorter period this year in vast char areas on the Brahmaputra basin and other places though their number was very high even a decade ago," he added.

Former Chief Scientific Officer of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute Dr MA Mazid said changing climate has affected weather, ecological balance, bio-diversity and environment causing adverse situation for existence of indigenous birds, fishes and insects.

"The encroachment of forest lands, felling of trees, drying up and shrinking water bodies and lack of management of the rivers, beels, haors and ponds are other reasons behind the situation," he added.

District Fisheries Officer Dr Zillur Rahman said reduction of flood plains, open water bodies, breeding and grazing fields and drying and silting up of ponds, rivers and tributaries caused disappearance and extinction of many native sweet water fishes.

Horticulture Specialist of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) Khondker Md Mesbahul Islam ecological degradation due to climate change has caused imbalance in nature and scarcity of animal foods in forests reducing animal populations.

"Sometimes, animals, including elephants, are coming out of forests in search of food to plain areas of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Kurigram, Sherpur and other areas in the country for their food scarcity," he added.

Deputy Director of the DAE SM Ashraf Ali here said utility of cultivable lands has been increased significantly with increased crop intensity to enhance crop productions for meeting food demand of the growing population.

"As result, lands are almost under crop cultivation in all seasons where chemical fertilisers, pesticides and insecticides are being used still at larger scale than required quantity that further degrades ecology," he added.

Associate Professor of Begum Rokeya University and Director of the Riverine People Dr Tuhin Wadud suggested for conserving indigenous birds, fishes, beneficial insects and forest animals to maintain bio-diversity and ecological balance for a better future.