Birdwatching marathon reflects biodiversity near Indian nuclear power plant

20 September 2022

Ornithology groups have observed more than 160 species of birds around the Kaiga nuclear power plant in Karnataka.

A Nilgiri Flowerpecker (Dicaeum concolor) - one of the species observed by birdwatchers near the Kaiga plant (Image: Lip Kee Yap/Wikimedia)

According to The Hans India, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) said the diversity of birds observed during the bird-watching expedition shows the "safety" of the area around the site where four pressurised heavy water reactors are in operation.

The survey area extended up to 42 kilometres around Kaiga, NPCIL said, and included terrain types that could host aquatic, wetland, grassland, raptor and land birds. Participants in the survey included members of the North Karnataka Birders' Network and the Bangalore Birds (BNG Birds) ornithology group.

As well as the 162 species positively identified by the birdwatchers, a further 20 species observed during the survey are yet to be confirmed.

Ornithologist NA Madhyastha said the diversity of species and population was an indicator of the health of the environment. "I would base my argument on endemic bird diversity - those which are commonly found in a certain area," he said. "It was heartening to know that the bird diversity was found to be at its peak at Kaiga."

Species seen at Kaiga included various swallows, hornbills and starlings as well as eagles, falcons, owls and buzzards.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News