Ahmedabad airport turns into breeding floor for insectivorous birds on account of termites on runway

0
28

Termites on the grounds of Ahmedabad Airport. (Representative image) | Photo credit: iStock Images

Key highlights

  • There are termite mound areas within the airport. The high level of termite activity at the airport led to the dominance of insectivorous birds in the area.
  • Removal of cut grass from the airport is required. It will help reduce the spread of termites and the consequences that come with it.
  • Researchers have also found around 1,000 bird feeding spots near the airport and the river.

Ahmedabad: Ahmedabad’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport continues to be a magnet for birds, making flights vulnerable to the increasing incidents of bird strikes. According to a national study, at least half a dozen bird endangerment incidents, including termite infestation along the local airport runway, attract insectivorous birds to the grounds, failure to dispose of cut grass, and 1,000 bird feeding sites within a 10 km radius of the airport.

In the study carried out by the Salim Ali Center, “Bird hazard at selected Indian airports: Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport”, the center marked termite mounds within the airport area with a red flag among the most important reasons for bird dominance.
The Salim Ali Center focuses its work on ornithology and natural history. His research was funded by the Ministry of the Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and submitted in August 2020.

The report also recorded extensive termite activity near the airport runway and in many locations within the airport. It says this could be a factor in the regular activity of insectivorous birds near the runway.

“There are a large number of termite mound areas within the airport. The high level of termite activity at the airport resulted in the dominance of insectivorous birds in the area,” the report added.

The report went on to say, “The removal of cut grass from the airport is necessary. This will help reduce the spread of termites and their associated consequences.”

The organic matter left behind on the property and the practice of not disposing of the cut grass can increase the activities of termites and insects that thrive on dead organic matter.

P Pramod and PV Karunakaran with Anees Khan and Binisha B found breeding birds in airport authorities in their study.

Researchers have also found around 1,000 bird feeding spots near the airport and the river.