The Panvel Post

Civic issues, Features and Personalities of Navi Mumbai

Karnala bird sanctuary

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Starting a day with a voice of birds and fragrance of trees is in everyone’s dream. When the busy life of the city becomes tensed such places gave a refreshment for our mind and body. A heaven for bird lovers and a fort that built in 12 century is situated in Panvel Taluka. Protected by government wildlife department, Karnal Bird Sanctuary and fort are in Mumbai-Goa National Highway and 12 kilometres from Panvel.

November-April is the best time for bird watchers, as 38 species of migratory birds other than 134 resident bird species are visible in the sanctuary. In 1968 government decide to protect this area from external interference and proclaimed as a special wildlife zone. Famous ornithologist and naturalist, Dr. Salim Ali played an important role in protecting this area and its biodiversity.

The bird sanctuary is situated near to the hills and mountains which offers tough tricks. Thus the area has become an attracting place for trekkers and mountain riders.

On the top of the mountain situated a fort that tells the story of kingdoms and their clashes for survival. Karnala had a great strategic importance due to its command of the hill road between Bhor Ghat and the rivers flow from Panvel and Apta, inspecting the trade route. From 1248 to 1318, it was under DevgYada. Between 1318 and 1347, it was under the Muslim rulers of Daulatabad. Then it was with Gujarat rulers, with the support of the Portuguese. During Shivaji, Mughals and Peshwas it has changed hands many times. It 1803, Bhaji Rao ruled it and in 1819, Britishers was in control of the fort.

Trees with medicinal importance is another speciality of Karnala sanctuary. Various rare species of trees are available and protected under the wildlife department of government. The department is protecting various other animal species from the forest. A meditation centre is built for animals.

The sanctuary is standing for protecting the rare species of animals birds and fort from external interferences. Pollution happening because of traffic on the Mumbai Goa highway is a crucial problem faced by the rare species and trees in the sanctuary. Plastic bags and materials used by visitors and travellers in the area pose a great danger for Lifecycle of the Karnala ecosystem. Thus wildlife authorities are imposing heavy punishments for polluters in the area.

Dwellers of the nearby villagers use to cut trees of important species from the woods, which affect the biodiversity of sanctuary. Sanctuary authorities are conducting awareness programs for educating villagers about the need to protect the wildlife and rare species.

Vinod, a bird watcher and constant visitor of the sanctuary, said “Karnala offers a huge amount of natural varieties. It has an exceptional amount of birds and medicinal plants. Migratory birds are a special attraction for visitors.”

M.J. Kamble, chief wildlife officer in charge of Karnala Bird sanctuary, said “we are ensuring every step for protecting the biodiversity of Sanctuary. External disturbances are dangerous for its existence. Punishments are imposed for those polluting and disturbing the wildlife.”

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This entry was posted on March 10, 2013 by in Civic Issues and tagged , , , , , , , .

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