THE NEW NATION – BANGLADESH
Number of many species of birds, fishes, insects and some animals has been reduced alarmingly causing concern to ecology, bio-diversity and the overall environment in the country’s northern region as elsewhere in recent decades.
Besides, many indigenous species of birds, fishes, beneficial insects and animals have already been extinct and some others facing extinction threat following adverse impacts of climate change, experts and aged people in the rural areas said.
Side by side, the number of migratory birds has also been reducing every year and their duration of stay was also shortening in the water bodies as those are being dried up much earlier before the end of the winter season, they said.
According to experts, many species of birds, sweet water fishes, animals and useful insects have already been extinct from the region as those are not being seen in recent years.
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 caused by the adverse impacts of climate changes, they said.
Environmentalist and RDRS expert MG Neogi said many species of birds are not being noticed in the rural areas and shrinking water bodies that created imbalance in the nature and the villagers are being deprived of the melodious songs of birds as it was few decades ago.
Many species of migratory birds had to visit the country every year during the winters months since the ancient times when adequate number of water bodies, ponds and canals and forest and hilly sanctuaries remained undisturbed, he added.
Editor of the Weekly Janopran at Chilmari in Kurigram Nurul Amin and elderly citizen Araz Ullah, 75, and Abdul Jalil, 70, said that the number of the migratory birds from the Himalayas and Siberia had reduced alarmingly in recent years.
“We had observed only a fewer number of migratory birds for a shorter period this year along with the local people in the vast char areas on the Brahmaputra basin and other places though their number was very high even a decade ago,” they said.
The experts blamed indiscriminate felling of trees, encroachment of forest lands, drying up and shrinking water bodies and lack of management of the rivers, beels, haors and ponds for declination of the number of various indigenous species of birds.
District Fisheries Officer Abdur Rouf told BSS that drastic reduction of the flood plains, open water bodies, breeding and grasing fields and drying and silting up of the rivers and tributaries caused disappearance and extinction of many native sweet water fishes.
Besides, the experts said that many beneficial insects have been extinct following indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides by the farmers while combating the harmful ones due to lack of adequate knowledge of pest managements.
Rangpur Divisional Forest Officer Muhammad Abu Yusuf told BSS that the ecological degradations due to climate change and other reasons have caused imbalance in the nature and scarcity of animal foods in the forests reducing animal populations.
“Sometimes, animals including elephants are coming out of the forests in search of food to the plain areas of the Chittagong Hill Tracts including Bandarban and Cox’s Bazaar districts and other areas in the country for scarcity of their food,” he added.
Deputy Director of the DAE Nur Mohammad and District Livestocks Officer Dr Rousanazzaman said that utility of the cultivable lands has been increased significantly with increased crop intensity to increase crop productions for the growing population in recent decades.
“As result, the lands are almost under crop cultivation throughout the year in all seasons where chemical fertilisers, pesticides and insecticides are being used still on larger scale than the required quantity that further degrades the ecology,” they added.
The experts urged for creating public awareness to protect the country’s ecology, bio-diversity and environment through comprehensive and planned initiatives involving the government and concerned bodies to avoid further disasters in the nature.
They called for arranging proper managements of the water bodies, their excavation and expansion, popularising eco-friendly method of using organic fertiliser and indigenous insecticides, halt of killing birds and expansion of forests instead of destructing those.
They suggested for comprehensive approaches to conserve the indigenous species of birds, fishes, beneficial insects and forest animals in the greater interest of maintaining the country’s bio-diversity and ecological balance for a better future.