The delay in the arrival of the world's most endangered migratory bird, Lesser Florican or Kharmore, in the Sailana sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh for the annual breeding season so far has left ornithologists worried.
Experts, who are seeking to find out the causes behind the winged creatures missing their annual date, have raised concerns over the presence of windmills and nilgais (blue bulls) in the vicinity of the sanctuary, spread over 1300 hectares in Ratlam district.
"This is probably the first in the 36 year history of the sanctuary that no Kharmore has visited the area during the breeding season. Last year, four Kharmores were seen in this sanctuary," ornithologist Ajay Gadikar, who is working for the conservation of the rare birds with the state Forest department, told PTI on Sunday.
Gadikar said the absence of the birds is a cause of concern because the sanctuary has lush green grass and is the ideal habitat for them.
"We suspect that the windmills that have come up near Sailana area in the last decade are disturbing the Kharmores who generally fly at the height of the windmills," he said, adding that the presence of Nilgais or large Indian antelopes might be the another cause.
According to Gadikar, Kharmore is a very shy bird who prefers either flying away or hiding after sensing any unusual movement.
Chief Conservator of Forests (Ujjain Range), Ajay Kumar Yadav, has confirmed that no winged visitor has been spotted in the sanctuary so far.
"Forest department will study the reasons with the help of experts to find out whether windmills and nilgais are acting as deterrents," he said.
Pointing out at the delayed appearance of the winged visitors in neighbouring Rajasthan, Yadav sounded optimistic about the sighting of the winged visitors in Sailana.
"We have come to know that arrival of Kharmores got delayed in Rajasthan. We hope the winged visitors would be spotted here as well as Sailana is their one of the favourite habitats," he added.
According to experts, Kharmores visit Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat between the months of July and August every year for breeding.
They then fly back to unknown locations after spending around three-four months in these states.
It is not known from where they fly in from.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)